Hungary will open a humanitarian corridor for citizens of Ukraine as well as third countries fleeing Ukraine, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto said in Budapest on Friday.
Third countries that have requested help from Hungary to get their citizens home include India, Iran, Ecuador, Israel, Zimbabwe, the Maldives, Mongolia and Jordan, he added.
“We are going to let them enter without a visa and take them to the nearest international airport, which is Debrecen (east Hungary),” Szijjarto said in a video message posted on his Facebook page.
The flow of people has been steady at the five border crossing points between Ukraine and Hungary, but the Foreign Affairs Minister said there were 3-5-kilometre-long queues of cars on the Ukrainian side.
At the request of Ukraine, Hungary will facilitate and speed up border check procedures for humanitarian deliveries to Ukraine, he added.
He said energy (gas and oil) supply from Ukraine has been uninterrupted, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Thursday evening, the Hungarian government adopted a decree according to which refugees from Ukraine would receive temporary protection. This applies to all Ukrainian citizens coming from the territory of Ukraine as well as to third-country nationals legally residing in Ukraine.
Hungary’s government expects around 600,000 refugees to arrive in the country from Ukraine, according to a map shown on Prime Minister Viktor Orban’ Facebook page.
For now, it is difficult to quantify the number of refugees, as many of them hold dual citizenship and/or have families or secondary residences in Hungary, a non-governmental organisation volunteer working at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border told Xinhua over the phone.