10:59 GMT17 May 2021
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    The European Union undermines the rights of refugees and seeks only to deter them by making a deal with Turkey, the president of Doctors Without Borders (Medicines Sans Frontiers, or MSF) Belgium told Sputnik.

    ST PETERSBURG (Sputnik) In mid-March, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis.

    "We see that Europe is now changing its policy with its Turkey-EU deal, and it looks like their only interest is to stop people coming to Europe. For us this is an anti-humanitarian policy, because what Europe is doing is externalizing its borders into Turkey, and soon it is seeking to make deals with African countries, to make the borders of Europe in other countries," Meinie Nicolai said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

    According to Nicolai, the real resettlement promised by Europe is slow and there is little protection for people.

    "We really take distance form this policy of the EU, and we are declaring it today, that this policy undermines the very rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and it goes against duty that countries have – to give protection to the people in need," Nicolai stressed.

    Nicolai said that the European Union pushed Syrian refugees to take dangerous routes and to be killed.

    "There is a policy of deterrence and people are taking more dangerous routes, Europe is pushing them into Libya, into Turkey. And people would take even more dangerous routes to get into Europe and it kills people. This is unbelievable," Nicolai explained.


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