Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is sharply criticizing the migrant policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying they hurt Russia as well as the European Union.
"It's quite simply stupid to open Europe's doors wide and invite in everyone who wants to come to your country," Medvedev said in an interview published this weekend by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
The policy is "a total failure, an all-round fiasco," Medvedev said, contending it could lead to the breakup of the passport-free Schengen zone. "Couldn't they have foreseen this several years ago?"
The influx of thousands of migrants from the Middle East also raises the odds of terrorism, he said.
"Among these people, there are also many, perhaps hundreds, or even thousands, of thugs who have come to Europe on a 'countdown mission.' Now they wait to be called and then they will act like robots" against Europe, he said.
Medvedev repeated his criticism after meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at the Munich Security Conference on February 12 to discuss their mutual problem of dealing with an influx of migrants crossing Russia's Arctic border with Finland to get to the EU.
Medvedev attributed the problem to the EU's "unsatisfactory" migrant policy.