Moscow Urges EU to Assist Returning Syrian Refugees

MOSCOW-The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the leadership of the European Union to assist in the return of Syrian refugees home, ministry’s representative Nikolai Burtsev told a session of the interdepartmental coordination headquarters supervising the return of refugees to Syria on Wednesday, Itar Tass reported.

"Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said as he met with EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship [Dimitris] Avramopoulos that assistance to the Russian initiative for the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland would be objectively in the interests of the European Union, "Burtsev said.

 Chizhov said the return of refugees meets the EU interests not only from the point of view of its image, but will also ease the political and financial burden, related to their staying not only in EU countries, but also in Syria neighboring  countries, the diplomat said.

"He also pointed out that the use of funds allocated by the European Commission to accommodate and support this vulnerable category of the Syrian nationals could be more efficient if they were re-channeled into assistance in the return to Syria of those who have said they want to," Burtsev added.

Syrian government is Keen on creating suitable living conditions for the return of Syrian refugees

Burtsev  also said that around 80 percent of Syrian refugees in Jordan are ready to return to their homeland when suitable living conditions are restored there, stressing that the Syrian side is actively working on the creation of these conditions.

Over the past few months, the Syrian army has won a string of major victories over Daesh extremists outside Damascus and in the south of the country, winning back most of its territory, making the return of the refugees home possible.