Poland 'to let in stranded Bangladeshi nationals from Ukraine'

Poland ‘to let in stranded Bangladeshi nationals from Ukraine’

Poland has “opened its border with Ukraine” to let in Bangladeshi nationals from the neighbouring country in the wake of a Russian invasion.

Bangladesh citizens carrying passports can secure a travel pass at the border to enter Poland without a visa, but they need to carry two colour passport-sized photos with them, the Bangladesh Embassy in Warsaw said in a notification on Friday.

Bangladesh does not currently have an embassy or a consulate in Ukraine. The country’s Embassy in Poland only acts as Ukraine’s de-facto diplomatic mission.

A team from the Embassy in Warsaw will also reach the Poland-Ukraine border on Saturday to assist Bangladeshi citizens wishing to enter Poland. The countries share an over 500km-long border.

The Embassy also urged the Bangladeshi expats who are in far away areas from the Poland border to observe the situation carefully before moving ahead.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has advised its citizens who are in the south and southwest of Ukraine to go to Romania.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Friday said the Romanian government will make arrangements for their two-day stay and then arrange for their return to Bangladesh under the supervision of the Bangladesh Embassy in Bucharest.

Earlier, on Thursday, State Minister for Foreign Md Shahriar Alam said that the government would arrange chartered flights to bring back Bangladeshis from Poland if they can safely enter Poland with visa on-arrival on an emergency basis with the support of the Polish government.

“Our first task is to bring our citizens to Poland safely from Ukraine,” he told reporters at his office, adding that they had already talked to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) and Biman Bangladesh Airlines to that end.

The State Minister had also said they would finalise the modalities of evacuation from Poland and “will talk to foreign airlines too, if needed”.

“Poland will allow Bangladeshis to stay for 15 days upon their arrival from Ukraine and the government of Bangladesh hopes to bring back its citizens much ahead of the 15-day timeline.”

The State Minister had also said that the Bangladesh Embassy in Poland “is taking preparations to provide accommodation facilities for Bangladeshis’ stay there until their evacuation”. “They (Bangladeshis) need to come to the Polish border from Ukraine making their own arrangements.”

An estimated 500 Bangladeshi nationals, including students, are currently stranded in Ukraine.