Over 650,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring EU member states since the Russia's military invasion of Ukraine. | KAI PFAFFENBACH

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The European Commission on Wednesday proposed to grant temporary protection to people fleeing war in Ukraine, including a residence permit and access to employment and social welfare.

Over 650,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighbouring EU member states since the Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, the EU executive said.

Designed to deal with such mass arrivals of displaced persons in the EU, the new legislation will apply in all member states, without requiring Ukrainians to go through lengthy asylum processes.

The proposal, which had been previously announced, will be discussed by EU interior ministers on Thursday.

Once adopted, temporary protection will start applying to Ukrainian refugees immediately for one year, and can last for up to three years - unless the situation in Ukraine improves sufficiently for people to go back home and the scheme to end.