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9 August, 2013 17:37   ▪  

Eurostat: Russians - top EU asylum seekers

Russians led the top of asylum seekers’ list in EU in 2013, EUobserver informs.

Recently-released Eurostat figures for the first three months of 2013 saw 8,435 Russians, half of them aged under 18, seek asylum in the EU while 8,395 people from Syria - in the throes of civil war - also came to EU doors. Next on the list in terms of numbers were Afghans (5,880), Pakistanis (4,310) and Somalians (3,430), writes EUobserver.

Next to increase in numbers of the asylum seekers from Russia and Syria, the biggest relative increase between the two years were for Malians.

READ ALSO: Refugees in Ukraine: Not Our Problem?

Sweden was a top destination for the asylum seeker in 2013. The country receiver 9,720 requests for asylum. Germany also saw the biggest increase - 6000 - in asylum seekers compared to last year and has over 80,000 pending applications.

Greece, often in the news for its over-run and badly kept asylum centres, follows with just under 40,000 pending applications and then Belgium with around 28,000.

READ ALSO: UNHCR Vincent Cochetel: “Ukraine has to realize that granting asylum to someone is a humanitarian act. It’s an act of protection, not a political statement”

France had the highest rejection rate at 84 percent, followed by Germany (65%) and Sweden (52%).

Asylum seekers from Serbia were the most likely to be rejected (97%) while 25 percent of Syrians were given the green light.

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