Moscow is ready to facilitate efforts to resolve a migrant crisis on the border between Belarus and the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-1’s “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” show.

“When we hear some statements and accusations against us, I would like to tell everyone: mind your own domestic issues, don’t try to shift them to others because it is your related agencies that need to resolve them. However, we are ready to do our utmost [to help resolve the situation] if there is anything we can do,” Putin said in response to reporter Pavel Zarubin’s questions.

He reiterated that accusations of involvement in the migration crisis against Russia “point to someone’s desire to shift responsibility for the current developments.” “What does our Aeroflot air carrier has to do with it? Did anyone take an Aeroflot flight? I know nothing about it but some people surely could have taken a flight and traveled through third countries. What do we have to do with it?” the Russian president said.

Responsibility for migration crisis

Western countries seek to avoid responsibility for a migration crisis on the border between Belarus and the European Union, Putin said. “I have already said that we have nothing to do with it, absolutely nothing. Why are some talking about it? Because it is on their conscience. It indicates their desire to shift the blame to someone else,” Putin said in response to reporter Pavel Zarubin’s questions.

According to the Russian president, it is Western countries that are to blame for the crisis. “I have already explained why, there are political, military and economic reasons. They were the ones who created conditions where thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people left their homes. And now they are looking for someone to blame in order to avoid responsibility for what is happening,” Putin stressed.

The Russian president explained that he had learned about the migration crisis from the media. “I never discussed the issue with [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko before. However, we have talked on the phone twice since the crisis emerged,” Putin said. The Russian leader earlier expressed hope that Lukashenko and Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel would hold a conversation in the near future to discuss the situation because most migrants sought to reach Germany.

Tensions sparked by migrants seeking to enter Poland, Lithuania and Latvia via Belarus exploded on November 8. Several hundred people arrived on the Belarusian-Polish border. EU states claim that Minsk is deliberately escalating the crisis and call for sanctions. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, in turn, blamed the situation on the Western countries whose actions forced people to flee their war-torn homelands.