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Moscow calls on EU not to support Turkey’s plans of safety zones in Syria

May 12, 2016, 9:44 UTC+3 BERLIN

Russia’s Ambassador to EU says such zones may become shelter areas for armed Islamists to receive new weapons

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BERLIN, May 12. /TASS/. Russia calls on the European Union (EU) to refrain from supporting Turkey’s plans to establish so-called safe zones for refugees in Syria, Russia’s Ambassador to EU told Die Welt newspaper in an interview published on Thursday.

"I call on EU not to support Turkey’s plans to establish safety zones. It is most probable that they will become shelter areas for armed Islamists, where they will receive new weapons and where supplies to them will be provided," Chizhov said. "This may only prolong bloodshed in Syria," he noted adding that such zones will hardly serve humanitarian purposes.

"Turkey’s assistance in establishing safe enclaves will violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. This will hardly contribute to strengthening EU’s right to be a more independent and responsible player in the Middle East," the diplomat added.

Chizhov also warned EU against attempts to support Turkey’s plans "in exchange for Ankara’s help in the matter of reducing migrant flows to EU."

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