09:06 GMT +318 January 2018
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    Jack pub, a small bar in the city of Bydgoszcz in northern Poland has banned Ukrainians from his facility.

    Bothersome Friends: Poles Annoyed With Ukrainians on Their Homeland

    © Photo: naszemiasto.pl
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    Poland has always been Ukraine's most vocal supporter in the EU and a strong backer of sanctions against Russia, despite the consequences for the Polish economy, but even Polish patience with Ukrainians seems to fray when their neighbors drop in for a visit.

    As it turns out, showing support from afar and coping with his presence at your doorstep are completely different matters.

    Poland has always been Ukraine's most vocal supporter in the EU, but inside the country itself, Ukrainians can often be made to feel totally unwelcome.

    Hubert Białczewski, an owner of a small bar in the city of Bydgoszcz in northern Poland has banned Ukrainians from his facility. The annoying guests have been making a violent mess in his bar on a regular basis, according to the newspaper Wyborcza. The owner has even threatened them with criminal charges for their behavior.

    The same newspaper had earlier reported that turbulence had erupted on different student campuses due to “discrimination in favor of Ukrainian students,” which had resulted from Poland’ favorable attitude toward the Maidan uprising.

    The newspaper warned that “the increase in tension between Poles and Ukrainians could become the first leak, which will spread to smithereens "steam boiler" Warsaw's political elite.”

    Poland received 2,318 asylum petitions from Ukrainians in 2014 compared to 46 the previous year, according to Poland's UDSC, a government agency dealing with immigration matters.

    Over 200 requests were made this January alone, but the majority will be rejected, the agency says.

    Many Ukrainians are used to shuttling to and from Poland, where they work on temporary six-month visas to earn their living. The number of applicants is on the rise, increasing from 720,125 in 2013 to 830,553 in 2014, according to UDSC.

    The number of work permit applications doubled from 2013 to 2014.

    Meanwhile, according to a recent report from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 800,961 Ukrainians have sought asylum, residence permits or other forms of legal stay in neighboring countries; 659,143 have sought asylum in Russia and an additional 81,023 have done so in Belarus.

    Related:

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