UKRAINIAN refugees who settle in Wales will be offered free rail travel for up to six months, first minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

Those that have fled the ongoing Russian invasion will be able to claim free travel on Transport for Wales services by showing a Ukrainian passport to conductors and station staff in Wales.

The scheme is an extension of an ongoing Welsh Government programme which provides free public transport for asylum seekers in Wales, as part of its ambition to become the world’s first ‘Nation of Sanctuary’.

Mr Drakeford said: “My message to the people of Ukraine is clear; there is a warm welcome waiting for you in Wales.

“Transport for Wales providing free travel for all refugees is another action which shows Wales is a place of safety and sanctuary for those who need our help.

“I am also proud that Wales intends to become a super-sponsor for the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, which will provide a safe route for people to come to the UK for up to three years.”

James Price, Transport for Wales chief executive, said: “All of us will have seen the shocking and distressing scenes from Ukraine over the past few weeks. Many of us have been deeply affected by what's happening, and we want to do what we can to support the Ukrainian people in their time of need.

“We’re proud of our record of supporting groups with free travel, including being a part of the nation Rail to Refuge scheme offering free travel for people fleeing domestic abuse, and offering free rail travel for NHS workers during 2020. This is a further extension of our commitment to social justice and helping make the world a better place.”

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