Prague, July 24 (CTK) – A total of 713 foreigners applied for asylum in the Czech Republic in the first six months of the year, which is 52 fewer year-on-year, according to the latest report released by the asylum and migration department of the Interior Ministry.

The biggest number of applications, or more than one third of all, was submitted by Ukrainians.

They have long been the most frequent asylum applicants. This year there were 254 applicants from Ukraine, which was eight more than in the same period last year.

Citizens of Azerbaijan in second position filed 56 applications and Georgians followed with 52 applications.

Citizens of each Armenia, Syria, Vietnam, Cuba and Russia filed 24 to 48 applications.

The number of Iraqis interested in Czech asylum dropped from 131 last year to 17 this year.

Last year´s number can be ascribed to the project of resettling Christian refugees from Iraq, which the government abolished after a part of them left for Germany and the rest returned home.

According to the Interior Ministry’s statistics, asylum was granted to 23 people in January-June and another 67 received complementary protection, which is granted for a beforehand set period.

This type of protection is usually granted to people who failed with their asylum applications, but would face a threat if they returned home now.

Czech authorities rejected 615 asylum applications or halted the proceedings. Another 827 applications were waiting for settlement as from end-June.

Last year, 1475 foreigners applied for asylum in the Czech Republic, which was 50 fewer than in 2015. In 2010-13, the number of applicants was below 1000, but before, several thousands of applicants annually were no exception. The year 2001 with more than 18,000 was an extreme case.