Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: “Significant numbers of migrants and refugees have gathered in large groups at the Greek-Turkish land border and have attempted to enter the country illegally. I want to be clear: no illegal entries into Greece will be tolerated. We are increasing our border security. Greece does not bear any responsibility for the tragic events in Syria and will not suffer the consequences of decisions taken by others. I have informed the European Union of the situation.” Feb 28, 2020, ca 4.30 pm: https://archive.li/kOsBM https://archive.li/vY0E3
Greek PM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriakos_Mitsotakis
This was four years ago at the Greece-Macedonia border, but gives some sense of the situation:
Russia helps to create refugees, but won’t help refugees:
“Russia tells Syrian asylum seekers: You need to go home, February 28, 2019, by Maria Vasilyeva MOSCOW (Reuters) – In pre-war Syria, Safaa Al-Kurdi sold wedding dresses. Fed up with the conflict, the mother-of-three fled Damascus four years ago and sought asylum in Moscow. Now, Russia is saying she must go home…” https://archive.li/K1QxG
Erdogan’s New Ottoman Caliphate vs Putin’s New Russian Empire and People are Suffering.
This is an AP article so we can’t use it, but you can read it here:
“Turkey Threatens Europe with Refugees After 33 Troops Killed” February 28, 2020 05:15 AM https://www.voanews.com/europe/turkey-threatens-europe-refugees-after-33-troops-killed
The Russians, and now the Turks, are tearing up Syria. They need to make a temporary safe place for the Syrian people somewhere. The UN says that refugees should be as near their home as possible, but then wants distant countries to take them in permanently. The US was apparently helping with stability in part of Syria, and then Trump pulled the troops back and let the Turkish troops invade. Turkey has been keeping millions of Syrian refugees for years. Now that Turkey, itself, is creating more refugees they want to send them to Europe. Russia wants to keep a Syrian military port on the Mediterranean. Russia has been strategically taking control of all of the important shipping routes for oil and gas and other heavy bulk products. By controlling the Eastern Med then Russian increasing controls the Med.
“Is Russia ‘Weaponizing Refugees’ To Advance Its Geopolitical Goals?” February 19, 2016 16:25 GMT By Ron Synovitz https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-weaponizing-syrian-refugees-geopolitical-goals/27562604.html
“Russia, Syria Said Using Migrant Crisis As ‘Weapon’ Against West” March 02, 2016 02:42 GMT By RFE/RL https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-syria-said-using-migrant-crisis-as-weapon-against-nato-west-breedlove/27584179.html
From VOA News:
“Greece Draws UN, EU Rebuke for Migrant Sea Barrier
By Henry Ridgwell February 04, 2020 01:40 PM
LONDON – Greece plans to build a floating barrier off its Aegean coastline to deter migrants from Turkey, amid a surge in arrivals in recent months. The plan has drawn strong condemnation from human rights groups.
Almost 60,000 migrants arrived by sea onto Greek shores from Turkey in 2019, nearly twice the number that arrived the previous year. Last week the government advertised an offer for the construction of a net barrier in the sea off the island of Lesbos, which lies just a few kilometers from Turkey.
At 2.75 kilometers long, the barrier would rise above the surface of the water and have flashing lights to warn would-be migrant boats. The estimated cost is more than $550,000.
“This plan could put lives at risk,” says Massimo Moratti of human rights group Amnesty International. “Building a barrier, a floating wall in the sea can make it more difficult even for the rescuers to go and rescue these boats and cause problems with the people landing.”
The Greek government argues the sea barrier would act as a deterrent to people smugglers and would be safety-tested before installation.
The surge in arrivals since August is putting huge pressure on the Greek islands. Moria camp on Lesbos Island was built for 3,000 migrants but is holding more than 19,000 people. Amnesty says conditions in the camp are overcrowded and unsafe.
Both migrants and Greek residents of the island have staged protests in recent days demanding that the camps be closed and the migrants moved off the island. “
We stand by them in whichever way we can,” said protester and Lesbos resident Zoi Giannaka, “but we want these people to leave, not because they bother us or because we don’t love them, but because they live in a way that is inhumane.”
Over 60 migrants died attempting the sea crossing from Turkey to Greece last year alone. The United Nations and the European Union have warned Greece to abide by international law.
“Every state, including Greece, has a legitimate right to manage their borders, but those that are coming across the sea with the intention of seeking asylum, safety, they have a fundamental right to do so,” said Boris Cheshirkov, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Greece.
The number of arrivals in Greece in still far below its peak in 2015 when 885,000 migrants arrived on its shores, many fleeing the war in Syria.” https://www.voanews.com/europe/greece-draws-un-eu-rebuke-migrant-sea-barrier
The EU does need to stop being energy dependent upon Russia, and turn to renewables and energy conservation. The other limited sanctions are ineffective, as long as EU members purchase oil and gas from Russia.