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EU accused of highly discriminatory refugee policy

Jerome Hughes

Press TV, Brussels

Hundreds of thousands of refugees continue to flow into the European Union from Ukraine. The EU is providing residency permits, access to the labor market, housing, medical assistance and free education for children for a period of at least one year. Now, the European Commission has unveiled plans to make these benefits permanent.

The European Commission's new initiative is called the 'Legal Migration Policy'. Critics are incensed as they look back at how the EU closed its borders to refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa that the West helped to create. 26-year-old William Ibrahim now lives in Brussels having left his native country, Syria. He says the EU has a legal responsibility to treat all refugees the same.

Relations between the EU and Russia over the conflict in Ukraine have gotten even worse. Moscow has cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria for not paying in Russian Rubles. The Kremlin is scathing of unprecedented sanctions being imposed against Russia by the EU and the West's policy of sending billions of euro worth of deadly weapons to Ukraine.

Due to the energy and refugee crises, the EU is facing economic ruin, some experts warn. It means the EU project is under threat like never before because hard-pressed citizens might turn against the political establishment. It's for this reason that many analysts are saying that EU leaders might look back on their handling of the Ukraine-Russia question with enormous regret.

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