MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West's idea of placing refugees from Afghanistan in Central Asia before they receive visas to the United States and Europe.
"Our Western, let’s say, partners are persistently raising the issue of placing refugees in Central Asian countries before those receive visas from the United States or other countries," he said at a meeting with the United Russia party members on Sunday.
"They think they can send them without visas to our neighbors [Central Asian states], but refuse to receive them in their own countries without visas? What a humiliating approach to solving this issue is it?" he wondered.
The President added that this issue will be discussed at the summit of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and at other venues, and Russia is in constant contact with partners from the Central Asian republics.
"They are in one way or another our closest partners and allies. We share common borders, but there are no visa restrictions. Imagine that refugees entered any of these countries. Who is among these refugees, how do we know? There may be thousands of them, or even hundreds of thousands, and maybe even millions. But we and our closest allies do not even have any visa restrictions. And what about our [common] border? It is thousands of kilometers [long]! One can get a car or even ride a donkey, and can go across the steppe. What are we going to do about it?" Putin explained.
The Russian leader called ensuring national security one of the most important and priority tasks, in particular for the Russian Foreign Ministry.