Poland will not "protect" Ukrainian draft dodgers on its soil, a deputy foreign minister said Tuesday, as authorities in Warsaw called for EU action on the matter.

Ukraine is scrambling to recruit troops after more than two years of war against Russia and has recently passed a mobilisation law, lowering the fighting age and toughening penalties for draft dodgers.

Last week it said it would stop issuing new passports abroad to some military-aged men and suspended consular services for men aged 18 to 60 living abroad, sparking fury among expatriates in Poland and elsewhere.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian men of military age are in Poland, according to UN figures.

"We definitely won't protect draft dodgers," a Polish deputy foreign minister Andrzej Szejna told the TVP state television channel.


He added that Warsaw had not received any formal request from Ukraine about military-aged men however.

"When Ukraine turns to Poland with a request, we will act in accordance with Polish and European law," Szejna said.

Last week, defence ministers from Poland and Lithuania, Ukraine's staunch allies, said they could help return military aged men back to their war-torn country.

"Everything is possible," Polish defence minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz told Polsat television when asked if Warsaw would agree if Ukraine asked for help.

On Tuesday, he called for "European solutions" on the matter.

"I know that talks between Kyiv and Brussels on this topic are ongoing," Kosiniak-Kamysz said, adding that acting "at the European level will ensure full effectiveness".

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Zelensky's visit comes as Ukraine has been battling a Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region which began on May 10 in Moscow's biggest territorial advance in 18 months.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fled the war, with most passing through Poland.

As of February this year, 952,104 Ukrainian refugees were registered in Poland, of whom about 150,000 people, were of military age, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

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