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The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will not take any decisions on asylum applications by Russian conscripts who have refused to perform service or have deserted. Neither do foreign nationals who belong to this group and are already in the the Netherlands have to depart in this period. The decision (only in Dutch) was taken by the Minister for Migration and entered into force after publication in the Government Gazette.
The decision to put any decisions and removals temporarily on hold is called postponement of decisions and departures. It is imposed if the situation in a certain country or area is unclear. Or if the situation of a specific group from that country or area is unclear.
In this case, this applies to Russian conscripts who refuse to perform their duty or desert because of the war in Ukraine. Conscripts are all Russian men in aged between 18 and 27 years old who have been called upon to perform their military duty.
Insufficient information about (forced) deployment of Russian conscripts
There is a lack of current, unambiguous and reliable information about the question to which extent conscripts in Russia are being deployed (by force) in the war in Ukraine. The information in the current official country report of 7 April 2021 about the Russian Federation is from before the Russian invasion of Ukraine of 24 February 2022, so does not provide this information.
Therefore, it has been decided to impose postponement of decisions and departures of six months for Russian conscripts who refuse to perform service or desert. This way, further reliable information can be obtained about the situation for this target group and it can be seen how the situation will develop.
The postponement of decisions and departures does not apply to professional Russian soldiers who desert and other categories of Russian asylum seekers, such as Russian critics of the war in Ukraine. The available information about their situation is adequate for the IND to be able to decide on requests for international protection by this target group.
Legal decision period extended
The IND assesses whether someone falls under the postponement of decisions and departures. The legal decision period for ongoing asylum applications and asylum applications which are submitted during the postponement will be extended to a maximum decision period of 18 or 21 months from the date of the asylum application. As a result of the postponement of departures, Russian foreign nationals who fall within the scope of this postponement will not be required to return to Russia or removed by force and they will be offered reception and other facilities.