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EU migration policy showing tendency toward tightening — Russian diplomat

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The European Union’s migration policy is demonstrating tendencies toward tightening, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Tuesday.

“Yes, a tendency towards tightening is observed. We see that they are taking decisions that change the existing EU rules, such as terms of considering asylum requests and so on,” he told an online briefing.

According to the Russian diplomat, there was “much fuss” around Belarus and its border with Poland. “Of course, the situation is sad from the point of view of the interests of those people who have found themselves in woodland near the border amid winter frosts they are not used to. And they deserve sincere sympathy,” Chizhov said. “Another thing is how the situation was highlighted. Obviously in an exaggerated manner.”

He recalled statistics that some 4,000 migrants reached Lithuania from Belarus in a period from January to August 2021 and there were around 7,000 migrants near the Polish border at the end of November. “Let us look at migration flows to the European Union via other routes. For instance, as many as 161,000 cases of illegal crossing of the EU outer borders were reported in the first three quarters of 2021, from January to October. This is 72% more than in 2020. Naturally, it is wrong from the moral point of view to compare such things, but more migrants are drowned in the Mediterranean than the entire number of those staying in Belarus,” he added.

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