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Lavrov explains causes of refugee crisis in Europe

December 06, 2016, 14:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

First of all it is essential to distinguish between war refugees and migrants, the Russian foreign minister suggests

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©  EPA/YOAN VALAT

MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The ongoing migration crisis in Europe stems from the ill-considered policies of some states that keep intervening in the internal affairs of the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with the Council of Europe’s Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland in Moscow on Tuesday.

Moscow, he said, welcomes international cooperation over the migration issue with the European agencies.

"We are certain that the Council of Europe, with its vast experience and firm legal basis, may play a constructive role in that sense," Lavrov said. "The requirements of existing international instruments must be strictly observed."

It is essential, Lavrov went on to say, to distinguish between war refugees and economic migrants. "This is an intricate problem and Europe has not yet devised a way of how to handle these two different categories."

"While helping people who have found themselves in trouble through somebody else’s fault one cannot but agree that it is merely a symptom, while the root cause of the problem is reckless policies by some states that intervene in the internal affairs of countries in the Middle East and northern Africa," Lavrov said. "There should be no pre-conditions for providing assistance to refugees, but it will be equally wrong to turn a blind eye on the fact that it is impossible to go on behaving the old ways - to intrude into others’ affairs, mess up things and just go, leaving it to all other countries to do the cleanup work."

Lavrov said it was not accidental those who press for unilateral use of force are among the advocates of shared responsibility for overcoming the migration crisis within the EU.

"The responsibility rests upon primarily on those who triggered those destructive processes," Lavrov said.

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