Syria a security risk to EU, commissioner says

April 25, 2013 at 11:24 AM

BRUSSELS, April 25 (UPI) -- It's in the interest of the European community to take efforts to address the situation with Syrian civil war, the European crisis commissioner said.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said latest data show there are 1.3 million refugees created by the Syrian war. There are an additional 11,000 refugees created every 36 hours given recent trends, she said.

Apart from the internal strife, Georgieva said an escalating crisis in Syria could bring a "humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable proportions" closer to European borders.

"The crisis in Syria is the one with the most dramatic spillover risks that exists today and could have dramatic consequences for the region, and, therefore, Europe," she said in a statement to lawmakers.

The European Parliament this week allocated $25.3 million in humanitarian assistance for internally displaced Syrians and those seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The European Union this week eased sanctions that would permit cooperation with Syrian rebels in the energy sector.

"Providing oil revenues to people will be complicated but it can improve the situation of ordinary Syrians if it is allocated in priority for humanitarian needs," Georgieva said.

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said supporting opposition forces in Syria "would further aggravate the situation and increase terrorist activity, including in neighboring countries," state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reports.

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