If Europe wants to reduce the flow of “migrants,” including those from Syria and neighboring countries, “It must help people return to their homes and normalize life in their country,” Russian president Vladimir Putin told a press conference in Vienna today.
Speaking after a meeting with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice Chancellor HC Strache, Putin added that the talks dealt with regional and international issues including the crisis in Syria, welcoming Vienna’s intention to join humanitarian efforts to support the Syrian people.
According to a 2017 report by the International Organization for Migration, between January and October 2017, a total of 714,278 internally displaced Syrians returned to their places of origin within Syria—indicating the stability that is returning that country as the government continues to suppress the terrorists.
Russia refuses to even consider “asylum” applications from Syrians, saying, correctly, that there is no need for them to flee and that they should stay in their country to help rebuild it after the US and Western-backed terrorist assaults.
At the same press conference, Putin also announced that he saw an opportunity for a gradual new beginning in relations between the EU and Russia.
“Restoring the full format of our cooperation is not only of interest to Russia, it is also our European friends,” said Putin. There was a dialogue with representatives from Brussels to resume the frozen mechanisms and instruments of cooperation, said the Russian president. These discussions are “very constructive, but not easy.”
Kurz emphasized that Austria wanted to use its upcoming EU Presidency to “revitalize the Union’s relations with Russia.”
“We believe that a win-win situation is better for both sides than a lose-lose situation,” Kurz said.
Russia has great importance in trouble spots like Syria and eastern Ukraine, he continued, along with a “strong responsibility. We also hope and expect that Russia will make its contribution, that people there will experience what they want so much, namely peace.”
Kurz also said the hoped that there would be progress in the eastern Ukraine under the so-called Minsk Agreement, which would, he said, allow the EU to “gradually reduce sanctions” against Russia.
The Minsk Agreement was a 2015 package of measures designed to end the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
Putin said that Russia and Austria are working to ensure that “all conflict parties adhere to the Minsk agreements”.