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Czech PM: Russia likely to face transit migration

The so-called Balkan route may be blocked, thus making refugees head to Europe via Russia and Ukraine

PRAGUE, February 23. /TASS/. Russia may deal with illegal migration from the Middle East and North Africa heading to rich European countries in case the so-called Balkan route would be barred for asylum seekers, Czech Prime Minister Boguslav Sobotka said.

"Refugees are trying to reach the European Union from Turkey via Russia and Ukraine," Sobotka said.

The EU is introducing measures to fortify the external borders of the Schengen space, seeking to bar a transit route from Turkey via the Balkan Peninsula for migrants. The migration tide would turn to the north, towards Russia and Ukraine and then through the Baltic states to the west of Europe, the Czech prime minister said.

The Balkan path would be inevitably blocked, he said.

"It will take nearly a year, I hope by the summer," Sobotka said. "There will be a need to ensure protection of the external borders of the Schengen zone".