Netherlands updates asylum policy for Russians — RT World News

The Netherlands has extended its deportation decision and moratorium for Russian nationals who had fled military conscription in the country for another six months. However, those who escaped the recent partial mobilization campaign will no longer enjoy protected status and may be deported.

Decisions on asylum applications submitted by potential Russian conscripts have been postponed for another half year, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) announced on Wednesday. The moratorium was initially introduced on June 29 on « a lack of up-to-date, unambiguous and reliable information on the extent to which conscripts in Russia » had been involved in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the service noted. The participation of conscripts in the hostilities was reported at the start of the conflict, but the issue was quickly resolved by the Russian authorities who ordered the army to deploy only professional soldiers.

However, the moratorium no longer applies to professional soldiers who deserted during the conflict and to those who fled Russia because of the partial mobilization campaign launched by Moscow at the end of September, the IND said. The decision comes from « The Russian Defense Minister announced that mobilization was over and ordered military units to stop mobilization work from October 31, » the agency said in a statement.

« The information available on their situation is sufficient for the IND to be able to decide on the applications for international protection of this target group », authorities said.

The move was criticized by human rights groups, namely the head of the Dutch Refugee Council, Martijn van der Linden, who said it was unclear why people fleeing the service in Russia for different reasons should be treated differently, especially since only a few a dozen such people ended up in the country.

« We’re not talking about a large group that needs a quick fix, » he told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.

Partial mobilization began in Russia with a presidential decree in late September, with the Defense Ministry announcing a call for 300,000 reservists with relevant training, previous military service and combat experience. On October 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the « The mobilization is over. » At the beginning of December, Putin declared that an additional mobilization was not envisaged, half of the troops called up still remaining in reserve.

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