As the standoff between Ukraine and Russia seems to escalate further, Australia has said that it will allow those visitors from Ukraine who are in Australia to stay back until the conflict-like situation calms down there. This was an official announcement made by Australia and was considered necessary considering the serious situation in Ukraine. Australia’s foreign minister stated the above in parliament, while also demanding that Russia pull back its troops from their present position in Crimea. She also demanded that Russia bring down tensions along both of its borders with Ukraine and Crimea.
So, for the present, those Ukrainians on a visa which has its expiry date close by and those who fear that they may be affected by the unrest, can file for extension of stay on their visas. The foreign minister also did not rule out the possibility that if the situation at the affected Russian borders along Ukraine did not subside, subsequent extensions may also be made to the visa applications.
The situation in Ukraine was caused because the erstwhile or earlier premier of Ukraine was ousted by protestors who were/are west-leaning and the new premier now is west-leaning. Russians constitute a significant portion/segment of the populations in both Crimea and Ukraine. So, because of this and also because of the fact that ideological positions, political party affiliations among different ethnic segments of the population differ or are conflicting, there has been unrest in Ukraine and now Crimea. Also, press reports state that the acting ambassador of Ukraine to Australia has stated that there is still a way out of the situation and peace can be restored if the international community intervenes to bring the situation under control.
Image Credit: Foreign minister Julie Bishop.Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images