EU dismisses claims of discrimination against Africans

Ukraine Ambassador to Kenya Andrii Pravednyk (right) with Poland's Jacek Andrzej Baza?ski addressing a press conference in Nairobi. March 3, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Representatives of the European Union member states bordering Ukraine have dispelled claims that African students crossing over from volatile Ukraine were being discriminated.

Ukraine Ambassador to Kenya Mr Andrii Pravednyk said the country was facilitating everyone seeking refuge in neighbouring states.

“There is no discrimination in Ukraine on grounds of national, race, gender or belief. It is probably isolated cases when some students from Africa, Pakistan, India became impatient at the border crossing. We have details of students from Africa who crossed without any discrimination during the crossing,” said Mr Pravednyk.

He explained that students from Ukraine and foreign counties were growing impatient as the authorities focused on helping priority groups to cross the border first in accordance with the international humanitarian law.

“We are doing everything possible to make border crossing between Ukraine and the neighbouring countries as smooth as possible. It is taking a lot of time but the young students from Ukraine and other countries have to wait. We have to prioritise women, children and elderly people to go first,” said the envoy.

Mr Pravednyk said the ongoing severe humanitarian situation in Ukraine, including the western border of the country, was because o the armed aggression of the Russian military.

“Russia bears full responsibility for the killing injuring innocent people destruction of infrastructure and creating obstacles on safe departure of foreign citizens,” said the envoy.

He urged other nations to demand from Russian President Vladimir Putin immediate end to the war in Ukraine.  “We are grateful the countries that have provided assistance to Ukraine inform of military and weaponry support, medical supplies and any other form of support,” said the ambassador.

At least 90 Kenyans in Ukraine have crossed from Ukraine to Poland, with the ambassador of Poland to Kenya Mr Jacek Bazanski noting that about eight more Kenyans left Ukraine through Slovakia border.