20:20 GMT17 January 2021
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    Estonia will not manage to fulfill its obligations under the EU plan to relocate thousands of refugees among the EU states by 2017, the country’s Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said on Tuesday.

    Refugee crisis
    © Flickr / Natalia Tsoukala/Caritas International, January 2016
    TALLINN (Sputnik) — In September 2015, the European Commission announced a quota scheme for each EU member state depending on its size, population and social and economic indicators, providing for the resettlement of 160,000 refugees throughout EU countries over the next two years.

    "Objectively assessing the situation, it is difficult to believe that by the end of the next year the whole European Union and particularly Estonia will manage to resettle the planned number of people," Pevkur said, as quoted by Sputnik Estonia.

    Under the quota scheme Estonia must accept about 550 refugees by 2017. The country has accepted only 60 people so far, which has triggered concerns of the EU authorities.

    The European Union is currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The EU border agency Frontex recorded more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the bloc in 2015.

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    relocation, refugee, Hanno Pevkur, Estonia
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