WARSAW — Of the nearly 4,000 foreigners who have applied for international refugee protection in Poland since the start of the year, just 38 have received refugee status.
Though the majority of those granted the refugee protection (21) were from Syria, the largest number of applicants were from Russia, and other former Soviet countries, which officials attributed to conflicts in Chechnya and Ukraine, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily reports.
The Polish Office for Foreigners report shows the biggest number of applications for international protection had come from 2,600 people (mainly Chechens) from Russia, 475 from Tajikistan and 455 from Ukraine.
The report comes as ruling Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has come out against European Union plans to house and feed refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war and other humanitarian crises.
People seeking international protection mostly enter Poland from the east, often through the town of Terespol.
Beyond the Syrians, the 38 newly granted refugee status approvals included three residents each from China and Egypt as well as two from Uganda and Iraq.
According to the Geneva Convention, a foreigner receives refugee status when facing a justified fear of persecution in their own country related to one's race, religion, nationality, political views or other forms of identity in society.