By Alessandro Parodi
(Reuters) - The number of temporary protection status permits issued to Ukrainians in the European Union dropped in most member states in February, the bloc's statistics institute Eurostat said on Monday.
EU countries had issued over the course of 2022 more than 4 million permits to Ukrainian nationals, Eurostat data shows.
However, the influx seems to be gradually decreasing.
"The number of decisions granting temporary protection to Ukrainians in February fell in 19 of the 26 EU members with available data," Eurostat said.
Poland and Germany, each counting a total of about one million asylum seekers coming from Ukraine, saw in February a monthly drop of 3,540 and 3,080 permits to 24,905 and 25,125 respectively, the agency said.
Of them, over 6,000 were under the age of 18 in Poland, and almost 8,000 in Germany.
Poland, which has been for many asylum seekers the first destination in the early stages of the war, has experienced since August a decreasing migratory trend, down to less than half compared to over 67,000 permits issued six months before.
The most significant increases were recorded in Ireland (+540) and Finland (+420).
The EU introduced in March 2022 the issuance of temporary protection permits for Ukrainian nationals displaced as a result of Russia's military invasion.
(Reporting by Alessandro Parodi in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)