The European Union on Tuesday extended the right of Ukrainian refugees to stay in the bloc for another year to March 2026, as Russia's war ravages their homeland.

Currently some 4.2 million Ukrainians are registered as refugees across the EU, with Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic hosting the biggest numbers.

"Day after day, Russia terrorises the Ukrainian people with its bombing war. These are not safe circumstances," Nicole de Moor, Belgium's secretary of state for asylum and migration, said in a statement on the extension's adoption.

"Those who fled from Russia's aggression can continue to count on our solidarity," added de Moor, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the June.

The 27-nation European Union first granted Ukrainians the right to stay in the weeks after Moscow launched its all-out invasion in February 2022. The measure had been due to expire on March 4, 2025.


People benefitting from temporary protection enjoy the same rights across the EU, including a residence permit, access to the labour market and housing, medical assistance, social welfare and access to education.

The latest extension comes as Ukraine's forces struggle to hold the front line and Russian air strikes have devastated the country's energy grid, forcing Kyiv to impose blackouts and import supplies from the European Union.

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