EU hopes Russia Syria pullout could slow refugee flows

European Commission chief welcomes 'initiatives taken by the Russian leadership to withdraw from Syria'

EU hopes Russia Syria pullout could slow refugee flows

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia's military pullout from Syria is welcome and could help slow the flood of refugees causing Europe's worst migrant crisis in decades, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.

"I welcome the initiatives taken by the Russian leadership to withdraw from Syria," Juncker said ahead of a crunch EU leaders summit on the migration crisis.

"It could be easily that this would reduce the number of refugees (coming) to Europe but it is too early to say," he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised the world when he ordered the withdrawal this week, having launched a massive air campaign in September to help long-time ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain ground lost to rebels seeking his ouster.

Last year, some 1.2 million people flooded into the European Union, most of them Syrians fleeing via Turkey and Greece, and while the influx has slowed, it continues.

Last Mod: 17 Mart 2016, 14:30
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