Estonian formin: EU commissioner's warning to be taken seriously

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Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn's warning that the Baltic states might soon be faced with flows of refugees from the southern neighborhood of the European Union should be taken seriously, Estonian Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said.

«Member states of the EU must act in concert to alleviate the refugee problem and for more effective action the capability of the border management agency Frontex has to be reinforced. However, it is important not only to deal with easing the refugees' situation but also to solve problems in their home countries,» the minister told BNS in a comment on Hahn's remarks.

The Syrian civil war as one of the bloodiest conflicts of recent times and ISIL's terrorist strategy and activity are a growing threat not only to the immediate neighborhood but to the security of whole Europe, Pentus-Rosimannus stated.

«In Syria and in Iraq the conflict has turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. Estonia together with the EU supports UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura's efforts to bring about a ceasefire. As a result of the conflict, close to 12 million people in that region need help,» the minister observed.

It cannot be excluded that the Baltic states might soon see a stream of refugees from southern neighbors of the European Union, Hahn said in an interview with BNS.

The commissioner also said that it would be in the interest of Latvia to deal with this region during its EU presidency, especially as the situation in the southern neighborhood of the EU has a strong influence on the situation in northern member states of the union as migration flows from unstable countries could soon reach also Latvia. «Today you can already see a lot of refugees in Sweden. So I would not exclude that soon there might be another refugee stream in the Baltic states from southern neighbors of the EU,» he said.