15:14 GMT +321 February 2019
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    Syrian refugees are pictured in a camp as Syrians fleeing the northern embattled city of Aleppo wait on February 6, 2016 in Bab al-Salama, near the city of Azaz, northern Syria, near the Turkish border crossing.

    Moscow Surprised Over EU 'Illegitimate' Sanctions Affecting Syrians

    © AFP 2018 / BULENT KILIC
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    Russia is surprised over the European Union’s stance of retaining illegitimate economic sanctions against Syria that affect civilians, Russian UN Envoy in Geneva Alexei Borodavkin said.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) – Earlier, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with El Pais newspaper that the Western sanctions against Syria were a contributing factor in the difficult situation with refugees in the country.

    “The position of the European Union surprises us as regardless of a ceasefire in Syria and cooperation with Damascus over the delivery of humanitarian aid, [the European Union] continues its illegitimate economic sanctions against Syria, which first and foremost affects Syrian civilians and, in particular, on the internal movement of individuals,” Borodavkin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    The West and several Middle Eastern countries do not consider Assad to be the legitimate authority of Syria. In 2011, Washington imposed sanctions against him in the hope that he would step down.

    According to the UN refugee agency, 6.6 million Syrians are displaced inside the conflict-torn Arab republic, while about 4.6 million people fled the country, triggering a massive refugee crisis in the European Union.


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