Russian President Vladimir Putin said In an interview with the Rossiya-1 TV channel that his country is not responsible for the migration situation on the eastern border of the European Union but is ready to help.
“I want everyone to be aware that we have nothing to do with this,” Putin responded when asked about Russia’s role in the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
“Everyone is trying to hold us accountable without any reason,” he said, noting that Russian airlines did not transport migrants to Belarus.
According to Putin, the migration crisis was generated by Western countries, including European countries, which created conditions that forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes. Putin was not clear on what exactly that could mean, but the West has been accused of waging destabilizing wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria that have driven the migration crisis.
At the same time, the mainstream political establishment of the EU and many top Western countries has been advocating for migrant-friendly policies while providing lavish social benefits. This reality, coupled with a lax deportation regime, have helped serve as a draw to hopeful migrants from around the world.
“While we hear statements or accusations addressed to us, I would like to say to everyone that they should address their internal problems and not divert their affairs, which should be resolved by their specialized institutions,” he commented on the crisis.
“But we are ready to contribute in every way possible to resolving the situation,” he noted.
Putin also confirmed that Russia is not planning a military exercise in the Black Sea in response to NATO maneuvers in the area. He said it would not be reasonable to escalate the tension further. At the same time, Putin has called it a serious test for his country that NATO allies deployed strategic air force units in the Black Sea military exercises. He also stressed that Russia is not planning a military invasion of Ukraine, and statements alleging otherwise are not true.
Regarding Belarus, Putin said he hoped that President Alexander Lukashenko would not shut down the Russian gas pipeline to the European Union. He hopes the current crisis could be resolved through dialogue between Berlin and Minsk.