30 Ukrainian refugees return from Moldova with Latvian President

The official visit of Latvian President Egils Levits to Moldova on April 6-7 has served several purposes, Latvian Radio confirmed April 8.

The outward flight of the Latvian delegation, included 5 tons of humanitarian aid which were transported to Moldova, while several dozen Ukrainian war refugees were taken back to Latvia at the end of the visit.

The refugees came from the Chisinau Refugee Center, which is currently home to 350 people.

"We have been here for two weeks. There are girls who have been living here for more than a month. We waited all the time for it to calm down so we could be able to return. But now we have agreed to fly. There were offers to go to Germany, Latvia, we signed up for Spain,” said one of the Ukrainians Latvian Radio spoke with.

In total, Moldova, with a population of less than three million, currently has 90,000 refugees from Ukraine, a higher number of refugees per capita than in any other country. Latvia has offered its assistance and is ready to receive 500 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova.

"I think we can afford to take in another 500 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova for the time being, thus helping Moldova, which is not a very wealthy country," said Interior Minister Marija Golubeva.

30 people got on the plane to Rīga, Latvian Radio said.

Among them was the eight-year-old Maxim, who was flying for the first time and was looking forward to meeting an aunt he has in Latvia. Maxim was flying with his sister and mother. The family is from Odesa.

"We lived in a children's camp in Moldova for a whole month. I accidentally saw an offer on the website. We are very grateful. It's a happy coincidence. I called and said, "Yes, please, we're ready to come on board," said Irina.

Most of the plane's passengers have agreed to go to Latvia because they have acquaintances or relatives there. Those who have nowhere else to stay will be admitted by Balvi municipality in the north-east of the country.

As previousy reported by LSM, the Interior Ministry is currently developing a plan to prepare for the reception of 30,000-40,000 Ukrainian war refugees as the original estimate of 10,000 places was quickly surpassed. 

 

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