Ukraine to give shelter to Syrian refugees
08 November 2015, Nirapad News: The refugee crisis is precisely such an opportunity. Ukraine would be delighted to play a real part in solving a pan-European challenge as an active partner. Moreover, refugees fleeing Syria today are bitterly opposed to the dictatorial Assad regime and have a natural affinity with Ukraine, another country fighting for a democratic future.
Even more importantly, cultural and historic connections are likely to make the integration of refugees into Ukrainian society much easier than it might be elsewhere. Syria was in the Soviet sphere of influence and there is a genuine shared heritage between the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine and Syria.
Syria’s Christians are facing violent persecution in their native land. As orthodox Christians, these people would find a natural home in Ukraine, a country that shares the orthodox religion and would give them real freedom of worship.
Many older Syrians studied Russian at school, a language very similar to Ukrainian. Russian and Ukrainian engineers and professionals came to Syria to work on important infrastructure projects, leaving a lasting legacy of cooperation and goodwill.
With the right EU support, the plan can benefit everyone. Syrian refugees will have a welcoming new home, while Ukraine can benefit from the contribution of talented Syrians to its economy and closer relations with the EU thanks to joint efforts towards solving a shared problem.
The refugee crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. One cannot afford to be blinkered in search for a solution. It is time to think laterally about the solution and to find a country that will benefit from mass immigration as much as those who seek a home there.