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Russian MP says EU, US should take responsibility for solving migrant crisis

Russia wants the document to include a clause that other countries must not interfere in sovereign states’ domestic affairs

UNITED NATIONS, February 23. /TASS/. The European Union and the United States should be personally responsible for solving the migrant crisis sparked by their meddling in the affairs of the Middle East and North Africa countries, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Development of the Civil Society and the Issues of Public and Religious Associations Sergey Gavrilov said.

The Russian lawmaker, who is attending hearings at the United Nations of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on drawing up the Global Compact on Migration, said this agreement should not be binding.

"Certain countries may undertake some commitments on their own, but it [treaty] should not become a tool of pressure against national governments and national parliaments in the context of defining criteria for migration, measures on [regulating] migration and possible introduction of national legislation," he said.

Russia wants the document to include a clause that other countries must not interfere in sovereign states’ domestic affairs, Gavrilov noted. "Most notably, this refers to the EU and the US," he said, adding that the West’s actions lead to "the destruction of states, destabilization, growing extremism and encourage migration - both political and economic."

"We believe it is important that the EU and the US should have personal responsibility regarding the fight against economic migration," Gavrilov said, noting that these countries should take more active steps to restore the ruined economy of the Middle East and North Africa countries and create conditions for the refugees’ return.

The approach suggested by the EU on sharing responsibility is unacceptable, the lawmaker said. "Russia had not encouraged the activity of extremists who triggered civil wars and migrant flows and in terms of international law we should not be responsible for the countries that encouraged terrorism," he said, clarifying Moscow’s stance.

Talks without US

The decision on drafting the Global Compact on Migration was made at the New York summit in September 2016.The document will include a range of measures aimed at easing the burden of receiving countries, increasing self-sufficiency of refugees, involving third countries and creating conditions for safe return of refugees. The document is expected to be adopted at a Morocco conference in late 2018.

The United States is the only country that has refused to take part in the talks on the future agreement. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the global approach suggested by the UN ran counter to the US sovereignty.

Gavrilov said the US delegation could sit down again at the negotiating table should the agreement become non-binding.