March 11, 2022
PHNOM PENH – Two Cambodians have fled Ukraine to neighbouring Poland amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, with the Kingdom’s embassy officials in the nearest European countries urging them to seek temporary assistance from humanitarian NGOs while they found ways to help them.
The Cambodian embassy in France said on March 9 that they had received information from the Polska Akcja Humanitarna NGO that two Cambodian nationals had crossed the Ukrainian border to Poland on March 3.
“If the two Cambodians have received our call or if anyone meets them, please contact the Polska Akcja Humanitarna NGO through Jean-Bernard Meunier, a volunteer at the NGO, at (+48) 723 691 226. He is based near Warsaw and is able to help with transportation, accommodation, food and other necessities, and can facilitate additional intervention from the embassy,” it said.
Cambodian citizens who are in a similar situation should contact the embassies in Warsaw and Paris, it added.
Reached for more details, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Chum Sounry said: “Our embassies in the countries bordering Ukraine are in charge of following the situation of Cambodian nationals there and helping them with any issues. The ministry will provide an update later.”
In late February, Sounry said there were currently no Cambodian students in Ukraine, but noted that there were 23 Cambodians who studied there in the 1980s and 1990s and continued to reside in the country with their families.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly two million people have fled the fighting in Ukraine, which has been creating the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. UNHCR said it was working to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 7 urged Cambodians not to be volunteer soldiers for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. He said he “would not allow any Cambodian citizen to lose their lives in Ukraine”, adding that the Kingdom’s Constitution does not permit Cambodian troops to be stationed in any foreign country for purposes other than UN peacekeeping missions.