"The control on the flow of refugees heading both to Russia and en route to European countries should be strengthened. In this context it should be noted and remembered that the so-called migration crisis broke out long before Russia commenced anti-terror operations in Syria. Long before that. The cause of this refugee crisis is the destabilization of whole regions, first of all in the Middle East," Putin said during a meeting with members of the FSB.
Putin added that the case of Afghan refugees entering Europe through Macedonia's borders was proof that the refugee crisis was the result of regional destabilization.
Europe is currently struggling to cope with a massive refugee influx, with thousands of migrants fleeing conflict-torn countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety and asylum, some of them use Russia as a route to reach EU states.
Russia commenced airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group, which is outlawed in Russia and many other nations, in Syria on September 30, following a request from President Bashar Assad.