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Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Radosław Sikorski during an interview for The Kyiv Independent in Warsaw, Poland, on April 2, 2024. (Tetiana Pavliuk / The Kyiv Independent)
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Returning men of draft age to Ukraine is "ethically ambiguous" and Ukraine will thus have to "take the in initiative" in the process, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in an interview with Polish channel TVN24 on April 27.

The comment came days after Ukraine suspended new applications for consular support and banned sending documents and passports to  Ukrainian men of draft age – 18 to 60 – who reside outside of Ukraine.

With some exceptions, Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine during the war while martial law is in effect.

Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said on April 24 that Poland would help Ukraine bring its draft-aged men back following the changes.

Sikorski said Poland will wait for Ukraine to "take the initiative" on how to approach sending Ukrainian men back to Ukraine.

"Although, of course, we understand that Ukraine needs its defenders to defend its homeland," he added.

Sikorski said he is not yet aware of Ukrainian initiatives to bring draft-aged men back to the country after the changes, but noted that "it was going in the same direction" when he visited Kyiv in December 2023.

He said Ukrainian authorities asked during his visit that social benefits at the EU-level not be extended to those who do not have "regulated relations with the (Ukrainian) military." He did not provide further details.

Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasciunas said on April 24 that Vilnius would observe what Warsaw decided to do on the issue.

Germany, on the other hand, will allow Ukrainian refugees to get temporary residency permits and extend expired ones.

Poll: 62% of Ukrainians say they are prepared to fight for country
Ukrainians have the highest readiness to fight for their country among other European countries, at 62% of the population, according to a survey by the Sociological Group Rating conducted in 2023 together with Gallup International and published on April 23.
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