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Russian Foreign Ministry rejects EU accusations of complicity to migrant crisis

March 01, 20:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ministry regards the recent barrage of accusations as an attempt to shift the blame for the inability to cope with the migrant problem to Moscow
1 pages in this article
Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Natalya Garnelis/TASS

MOSCOW, March 1 /TASS/. The European media campaign of accusing Russia of the EU migrant crisis is unfounded because it cannot be supported by any real facts, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry regards the recent barrage of accusations as an attempt to shift the blame for the inability to cope with the migrant problem to Moscow.

"A number of media outlets in the European Union have recently launched a propaganda campaign against Russia for its alleged links to a migrant crisis that has swept the European Union," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "As usual, this information has no real proof. Moreover, it is directly contradicting the real facts," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Europe’s stance was not surprising. "These unfounded allegations are fitting very well into a shortsighted political line of certain circles in Europe and the ‘mouthpieces of propaganda’ under their control aimed at demonizing Russia and accusing it of all deadly sins," the ministry said.

In this connection, the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled an interview with Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, in which he suggested that the flows of migrants, including from Central Asia, into Finland and Norway had increased via the territory of Russia.

"Moreover, according to him, it is not by chance that they set out on their journey. The politician’s imagination saw a kind of political sign behind this fact," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.

However, the ministry went on to say, none of these suppositions could be confirmed by real facts.

"About 5,500 migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa have used the so-called ‘Arctic route’ since the end of November 2015. According to the Norwegian Justice Ministry, it makes up a mere 18% of the total number of asylum seekers [31,000 people]," the Russian Foreign Ministry said adding that calm and constructive actions by Russia and Norway had defused the situation.

"Not a single refugee has entered into Norway via the aforesaid checkpoint since early December 2015," the ministry stressed.

Russia has established constructive cooperation with the Finnish authorities on migration issues. "No more than a thousand migrants entered Finland from Russia in 2015 compared to 30,000 people who crossed into the country from [neighboring] Sweden for example," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The mythical concerns over ‘Moscow’s hand, which is allegedly standing behind Europe’s migrant crisis, is nothing more than idle talk on the part of some political forces in Europe who are willing to shift the blame for their inability to cope with this problem, which is a consequence of an entire spectrum of causes ranging from the irresponsible policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa to the shortsighted EU migration policy," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, has offered another recipe of tackling the migrant crisis to Europe.

"The most important thing is to consistently eradicate the causes of the current migrant and refugee crisis. That implies the earliest settlement of conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen as well as stabilization of the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan and certainly a fair solution to the Palestinian problem," Lavrov said in a speech at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

Lavrov called for working out a comprehensive approach, involving U.N. structures and the International Migration Organization, for resolving the migrant crisis in Europe.

"A migrant crisis that has swept Europe has become another pernicious consequence of the forced remodeling of the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is being aggravated by the absence of a clear and united stance of the European Union," Lavrov said.

"Some members [of the European Union] are promoting their liberal migrant policy thus stimulating new [migration] waves into Europe; instead of the promised comfortable life, these desperate people get into new troubles; they are subject to inhumane and sometimes violent treatment. We are watching that daily, including on television," the Russian foreign minister said.

"The problem will not lend itself to solution by such methods. It is clear we can hardly rely on the European Union. The more so that the migrant crisis is affecting many countries, which are not EU members but are experiencing the negative consequences of actions or inaction of its member countries," Lavrov went on to say.

"I believe it would be expedient to attract the United Nations structures as well as the International Migration Organization to working out a comprehensive approach," the Russian foreign minister concluded.

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