The Minister of Justice of Germany, Marko Buschmann, has affirmed that Germany will not compel Ukrainian refugees to serve in the Armed Forces or deport them to Ukraine, as reported by Deutsche Welle.
“Forcing people to engage in military service against their will is not our approach,” Buschmann stated.
The German government official assured that if Ukrainian authorities wish to conscript men who have left the country into the military, it will have no practical consequences for Ukrainians residing in Germany.
“It is impossible for me to imagine how we can force people from other countries to serve with weapons in their hands, given that, according to our constitution, German citizens are not obliged to do this against their will,” he explained.
Germany has been at the forefront in accepting Ukrainian refugees, providing them with housing, social benefits, and assistance in integrating into German society.
The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov, previously discussed potential scenarios for conscripting Ukrainians living abroad into the Armed Forces (AFU) in interviews with German publications Welt and Bild.
He revealed ongoing discussions regarding the conscription of men aged 25 to 60 living abroad into military service next year. These individuals, residing in countries such as Germany, may receive invitations to report to AFU conscription points.
While Umerov mentioned only invitations, he made it clear, as noted by the German publication, that sanctions could be imposed if the request is not fulfilled.
In Germany, political forces had varied reactions to Umerov’s statement.
The deputy head of the faction of the opposition Christian Democratic Union in the Bundestag, Johann Wadephul, stated on the Welt TV channel that the Ukrainian ministry’s “persistent moral appeal” should be supported, without specifying how such support should be provided.
According to him, Ukrainians in Germany “are here because there is a war going on there, and they are simply obliged to contribute to the end of this war.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry downplayed Umerov’s statement, saying that “he was misunderstood.” In a comment to media outlet Babel, Illarion Pavlyuk, the Head of the Press and Information Department of the Ministry of Defense, explained that Bild had “shifted the focus.”
According to him, there are “no discussions on the mechanisms of conscripting men living abroad into the AFU.”
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