Eurostat: 300 Ukrainian nationals seek asylum in Poland in 2017

"This was just over half the number recorded in 2016, when 1 206 500 first-time asylum applicants were registered, and is comparable to the level recorded in 2014, before the peaks of 2015 and 2016, " Eurostat said.

Last year, almost 650,000 people applied for asylum for the first time in European Union countries, compared with 1.21 million the year before. In contrast, the number of applications fell in Germany by 73 percent compared to 2016.

Nearly one in three people sought asylum in Germany in 2017, while 20 percent filed in Italy and 14 percent in France.

Poland received 300 asylum applications from Ukrainian nationals in 2017, while the number of asylum seekers from Russian Federation reached 2,120.

Figures show dramatic drop between 2016 and 2017 in the EU. About 16 percent of first-time applicants in 2017 came from Syria, while asylum seekers from Iraq were the second-largest group at 7.3 percent. First-time applications increased in Spain (by 96 percent), France (19 percent), Greece (14 percent), and Italy (4 percent).

Italy has witnessed a significant decrease in the number of migrant and asylum seeker arrivals since mid-2017, after striking a deal with Libyan authorities and factions to curb departures from the Libyan shores.

Eurostat also noted that close to 1 million asylum applications were pending at the end of 2017, with Germany accounting for 48 percent of the total figure.

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