There are no migration flows from Russia to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, APA reports citing TASS.
"As for migration flows, thank God, we see no such migration flows via Russia to Europe. Frankly speaking, I hope there won’t be any in future," he said during his video link with Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The Russian president also called for depoliticizing the situation with migrants at Belarus’ borders with European Union countries.
"As for the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border, yes, it is difficult. But it is important to follow the principles and rules the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent has always been sticking to," he said.
"It is necessary to depoliticize the situation. It must not be politicized in any event," he stressed.
He recalled that around 5,000 migrants are currently staying in Belarus whereas 54,000 migrants have reached the European Union via Italy this year. He also recalled mutual claims on the migrant matters between France and the United Kingdom.
Putin has slammed Poland’s authorities for using herbicides and pesticides against refugees.
"The Belarusian authorities are sparing no effort and are trying to persuade people to return to the places of their permanent residence, to their homelands, first of all to Iraq, voluntarily," he said.
"Probably, it is necessary to keep a close eye on what is going on at the border and what the authorities of the neighboring state, Poland in this case, are doing. It is inadmissible to pour water on people, moreover to add herbicides and pesticides in this water to cause burns and other serious consequences in migrants, including women and children. It is absolutely incompatible with the principles of humane treatment of migrants," he said.
Putin also drew attention to the fact that many migrants have died at the Belarusian-Polish border. "Many people have died and been buried at the border. They are buried literally every day. It is a disaster and it is necessary to pay attention to it," he said.
The Russian president said that in his contacts with European colleagues he always draws attention to the situation with refugees and expressed the hope that the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border will be gradually normalized. "Although there are a lot of people whose future is still vague," he noted.
He called for all-round support for Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in order to offer necessary assistance to people who need it. "As for us, we will do our best if need be. As far as I understand, the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian Red Cross Society are doing their utmost to stop sufferings of the people who are staying there," Putin said.