DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to cooperate with forces of Syria’s opposition and the need to unite efforts in the struggle against terror is coming to the foreground, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
"Of course, it is also necessary to think about political transformations in that country and we know about President Assad’s readiness to involve the healthy part of the opposition in these processes, in state governance as well," Putin said at a summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
"Today, the need of uniting the efforts in the struggle against terrorism is undoubtedly coming to the foreground," the Russian leader said.
"It is impossible without this to solve other essential and intensifying problems, including the refugee problem," the Russian president said.
Vladimir Putin has rebuffed the attempts of shifting the blame on Russia for the flow of refugees from Syria to Europe.
"We see attempts today of nearly casting the blame on Russia for this problem, for its emergence," Putin said. "They allege that the refugees problem emerged due to Russia’s support for the legitimate authorities in Syria," he said.
The Russian leader stressed that "no one will manage to pass the buck."
Putin said that the fact is that people are fleeing Syria first of all due to combat actions there "imposed to a significant extent from outside," and also the atrocity of terrorists. "If Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in the country would have been worse than in Libya and the refugees flow would have been even greater," he said.
Putin also stressed that "the support for the legitimate government of Syria is no way linked to the refugees flows from such countries as Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and others."
"We did not destabilize the situation in those countries and the whole regions of the world. We do not destroy or did not destroy there state institutions, creating power vacuums, which are immediately filled with terrorists," he said.
According to the European Commission, since early 2015, more than 400,000 migrants have officially applied for asylum in 28 EU member-states, compared with 280,000 last year. Around 200,000 people have arrived onboard vessels via the Mediterranean Sea.
The migrants issue came to the forefront after the bodies of 71 refugees from Syria were found in a truck in Austria in late August. A total of 2,600 people have died this year as they attempted to flee to Europe.
Experts say the flow of illegal migrants to the EU countries may reach 1 million people by the year-end.