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MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. Russia is opposed to the concept of sharing responsibility for the fate of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday following meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed in detail the situation of refugees and migrants in the world and prospects for cooperation between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Russia. Grandi praised steps on providing assistance to refugees from southeastern Ukraine and residents of the Donbass regions made by Russia and humanitarian efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.
"The Russian side again noted that that the concept of sharing responsibility for the fate of refugees, which is, in fact, an attempt to shift the burden on to someone else, is counter-productive," the ministry said. "It emphasized that the responsibility for providing assistance to refugees and displaced individuals should be borne by those who instigated destabilization in the vast region of the Middle East and North Africa meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. Conflicts provoked from the outside have become a major cause of large-scale displacement of people in the world."
The Russian side "has reaffirmed its commitment to continue to provide all-round support to the UNHCR, since its activities are relevant today not only in terms of humanitarian aid but also in a broader context for maintaining stability in the regions with difficult socio-political and migrant situation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.