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Austrian chancellor says refugees rescued near Greece should be sent back to Turkey

Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann suggested sending the Syrian refugees, who were rescued near Greece, back to Turkey. The Austrian media report on Saturday he voiced the idea at a conference of Syrian donor countries, which took place in London on Thursday. If this plan does not work, the republic will begin protecting its national borders, the chancellor added.

"This is the only radical measure, which will be able to ruin completely the business model of illegal migrant traffickers," Austria's Krone newspaper quoted the chancellor, adding Turkey should receive from the European Union three billion euro for curbing the inflow of refugees heading for European countries.

In an interview with the Osterreich daily he also said he had informed about this decision Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

"I have presented to Davutoglu my view of Plan A," the Austrian chancellor said. "Frontex (European border management agency) should stop people heading for Greece. They all should be rescued, but after that they should be sent back to Turkey. In that case, Frontex would be not only a rescue mission, but a truly program for protection of the borders."

At the same time, Austria also considers Plan B, which means organization of the border control and actual closing of the border for refugees, coming in from the so-called "safe" transit countries.

"We should be ready for everything," the Austrian chancellor said. "This is a forced measure, but we cannot be hoping Davutoglu would settle all the problems for us."

On Friday, head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) said displaced persons now present in Europe in the current migratory influx may reach the borders of states assembled in the organization. Countries in the six-nation bloc "should jointly withstand the development of such a situation", organization leader Nikolai Bordyuzha told the intergovernmental military alliance of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

"We see that some countries have started expelling migrants using legislative and organizational methods," Bordyuzha said. "We do not exclude that the refugee flow can reach our borders. We must be ready for this," he cautioned.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, Vienna, 06Feb16]

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