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Who is to blame for migration crisis in Europe?

September 04, 2015, 17:44 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemilianichenko

MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. As Europe’s migrant crisis soars, a campaign of mutual fault-finding is gaining momentum. The Western states are looking for those responsible in the Middle East, where a short while ago they themselves launched military campaigns against several countries to throw the whole region off balance. At the same time they do not dare criticize the United States, which is chiefly responsible for these military adventures. The East European countries put the blame for the influx of migrants at the door of their Western neighbours and public sentiment there is getting increasingly anti-American.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday said: "I would say the people responsible for these terrible scenes we see, the people most responsible, are President Assad in Syria and the butchers of Isil [Islamic State] and the criminal gangs that are running this terrible trade in people. And we have to be as tough on them at the same time."

But there are other points of view. "I have just one question to ask: who was it who bombed Libya," Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico said. "Who bred problems in North Africa?"

Russia believes the migration crisis in the European Union should be put squarely on the United States for its ill-considered policies in Africa and the Middle East. Russia had farsightedly warned the EU in advance the probability of this march of events was high, but the EU preferred to follow US-dictated policies, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference on Thursday. "This crisis is an absolutely predictable one. It is anyone’s guess what is it they are now so surprised about," he said, adding that refugees are fleeing to Europe not from Bashar Assad the West is fighting against, but from the IS, which Assad is struggling with."

"Europe blindly sticks to this policy within the framework of the so-called allied comments only to bear the brunt of its effects," Putin said.

In the first seven months of 2015 340,000 men, women and children have crossed the EU borders. Thrice as many as in the same period of 2014. Most of the refugees are from Afghanistan, Syria, Tunis, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia.

"As Europeans try to realize the root causes of the migration crisis, they tend to keep quiet about the role of all external interventions in the Middle East over the past ten years or more, starting from Iraq," the chairman of the Foreign and Defence Policy Council’s presidium, Fyodor Lukyanov, has told TASS. "They have strongly fermented problems and gave a powerful impetus to let them grow. Naturally, these days the causes are being looked for there where the West is not responsible for anything."

The European countries, Lukyanov remarks, see no link between the crisis and the US-initiated military operations in the Middle East. "If the question is to be put that way, the next one may be: ‘Where were you [and your criticism] then? Iraq was a great controversy and some European countries were strongly against. As for the US policies in Libya and Syria and the backing for the ‘Arab Spring’, Europe came out in its support and it does not matter whether it did so sincerely or not sincerely, under pressure or of its own accord."

"The argument I might address Cameron with is this: the point of departure is Afghanistan and, first and foremost, Iraq, which triggered the turmoil in the region," the chief of European political studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ institute of world economy and international relations IMEMO, Nadezhda Arbatova, told TASS. "Britain is the United States’ most loyal ally, so this question is not ever asked there. But the countries that have not taken part in the military operations keep wondering why they should now bear equal responsibility. Also, they recall the role of the United States."

Czech President Milos Zeman blamed the refugee crisis squarely on the United States, Arbatova recalls. Hungary is very skeptically-minded. And in Britain Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn, strongly anti-US and anti-NATO minded with good chances of being elected the party’s leader, is gaining strength.

Middle East Institute President Yevgeny Satanovsky unequivocally attributes the migrant crisis to "aggressive policies by Western leaders, bribed by Arabian monarchs for the purpose of toppling authoritarian secular regimes, such as those in Iraq, Libya and Syria."

"In Iraq and Libya it worked. But it failed in Syria, because firm opposition by the United Nations, Moscow and Beijing has blocked all attempts to effect the contract for toppling Assad. Britain, Germany and France may now go on criticizing the one whom they have failed to overthrow to please Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as long as they wish," Satanovsky said.

The Europeans have no leverage to influence the Americans," he says. "Criticizing them is of no use. Also, it would be unsafe after the world-wide eavesdropping affair. Nobody knows what sort of compromising evidence and what sort of information the United States has up its sleeve and may make public, if it feels offended by some of the European politicians.

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