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West to blame for EU migrant crisis: Russia

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Russia says the recent influx of illegal migrants into Europe has been caused by the West’s meddlesome policies in affairs of the Middle East and Africa.

“The current crisis near the southern borders of the EU is in many ways a byproduct of forcible interference of some Western powers in the Middle East and Africa,” said a spokesman for the Russian delegation at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday, TASS reported.

The official also questioned the efficiency of the European Union’s policy with regard to the worsening problem of illegal immigration.

“EU’s actions shouldn’t go beyond arrests of the ships that transport illegal migrants,” the spokesman went on to say.

The Russian official stressed that tightening border controls would fail to fully solve the migrant crisis unless constructive dialogue is established between the host and transit countries.

Italian police forces carry away a migrant from the Italian-French border in the Italian city of Ventimiglia on June, 16, 2015. (© AFP)

 

This is while the Italian police used force to clear illegal migrants, mostly from the African countries of Eritrea and Sudan, from the European country’s Mediterranean border with France.

According to reports on Tuesday, the Italian troops forcibly removed the resisting migrants at the Ventimiglia border crossing and loaded them onto police vehicles and a Red Cross bus.

The migrants had been there for five days after French border guards prevented them from entering the country.

Italian police forces attempt to force a migrant into a police vehicle at the Italian-French border in the Italian city of Ventimiglia on June, 16, 2015. (© AFP)

 

Meanwhile, Italian Interior Minster Angelino Alfano referred to the Ventimiglia incident as a “slap in the face of Europe,” saying it testifies to the fact that the refugees do not want to stay in Italy and plan to move further north.

“The scene in Ventimiglia is a punch in Europe’s face. It’s the proof that migrants do not come to Italy to stay in Italy but to go to Europe, and it is exactly from the scene in Ventimiglia that everybody must learn. I believe that scene has really been a punch in the eyes of those who do not want to see,” he pointed out upon his arrival in Luxembourg for an EU interior ministers’ meeting.

Earlier in the month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced that more than 103,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since the beginning of 2015.

Nearly 1,800 people have also drowned in the Mediterranean while attempting to reach Europe so far this year, according to the agency.

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