Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom: We can send Ukrainians to Rwanda too

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United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Ukrainians who entered the country illegally could also be sent to Rwanda.

Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom: We can send Ukrainians to Rwanda too 1

Johnson answered questions from the press on Thursday before attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the Rwandan capital Kigali on June 20-26.

Asked whether Ukrainians who entered the country illegally will be sent to Rwanda, the UK prime minister said, “Only those who come to the UK illegally, thus undermining the safe and legal routes we have, will be sent to Rwanda. I think we issued visas to 130,000 Ukrainians who had at least two legal ways to come to the country. But if you enter the country illegally, you are harming those who come here legally. So yes, I think in theory it is possible. But I think it is very unlikely,” he replied.

In a statement in May, Johnson said that Ukrainian asylum seekers would not be sent to Rwanda.

At the meeting in Kigali, Johnson also touched on the Russia-Ukraine war, saying he was “worried that Kiev may be pressured into a peace deal that is not in its interest” because of the economic hardship the war has caused in Europe.

The UK struck a £120 million (about £2.4 billion) deal with Rwanda in April to deport people who had entered the country illegally.

Anti-government protests were held in the UK last week as human rights organizations reacted to the deal. Two weeks ago, some Rwandan asylum seekers went on hunger strike.

On the other hand, on June 14, the first flight to take asylum seekers to Rwanda was halted hours before take-off after the asylum seekers’ lawyers applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Guardian, LBC, AA

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