Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday that Ukrainian refugees will not be integrated into Danish society, and should instead return to rebuild Ukraine after the conflict. Her statement came a week after the country passed a special law giving Ukrainian refugees access to work and education.
“Being a refugee is temporary, so you have to return and help build up your homeland when you get the opportunity. It gives us the opportunity to help other refugees,” Frederiksen, a Social Democrat, said during a parliamentary debate, according to the Associated Press.
Denmark’s parliament passed a law last Thursday granting two-year residence permits to Ukrainian refugees with an option to extend a further one year. The law also grants refugees access to work permits, education, and social welfare.
Although Frederiksen’s government is a coalition of left-wing and center-left parties, it has carried on the strict anti-immigration policies of the preceding right-wing government. Frederiksen has stated that Denmark’s policy is to accept “zero” asylum seekers, and her government has recently demanded that Syrian migrants who arrived during the refugee crisis of 2015 return home.