MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Moscow welcomes the agreements on practical steps to arrange the return of refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar, reached at the first meeting of the joint Bangladesh-Myanmar working group," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
"We welcome the agreements reached at the first meeting of the joint Bangladesh-Myanmar working group held in Naypyidaw on January 15-16, which concern practical steps to arrange the return of refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar," the statement reads. "We hope that the implementation of the return plans in accordance with the previously agreed conditions will help strengthen regional stability," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.
"We expect constructive cooperation between Naypyidaw and Dhaka to continue in order to resolve the remaining issues, as we also expect other interested countries to facilitate this process based on respect for national sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs, which is what Russia has been calling for," the statement says.
On November 23, 2017, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding, which stipulated that the refugee return process should begin within a two-month time. Myanmar authorities have been building a temporary accommodation camp for around 30,000 Rohingya in the northern part of the Rakhine state.
Naypyidaw considers the Rohingya Muslims residing in Rakhine to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Religious conflicts have many times erupted in the state, leading to clashes between Muslims and local Buddhists. In the recent years, thousands lives were taken by violence.
According to the United Nations, more than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 2017.