Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that his country had strong evidence that the bombing of the Syrian city of Douma with a chemical weapon was merely a staged “ploy” and warned that any military escalation would be followed by a major wave of immigration to Europe.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok, Lavrov clarified that the intelligence of one of the countries involved in the anti-Russian campaign was behind the chemical attack on Douma.
The Russian minister warned that any “venture” in Syria that is similar to what happened in Iraq and Libya “will entail new waves of immigration to Europe and other repercussions that we and our European partners do not want.”
Lavrov’s comments appear to be an implicit threat of escalating the strikes against Syrian civilians in order to force them to flee to Europe.
On their part, European countries have drawn up a number of plans to reduce the flow of refugees coming through Turkey. They began funding housing projects for hundreds of thousands who are stranded in camps in Greece and Turkey to prevent them from crossing to Europe.