Moscow, February 16, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sees a mistake in the immigration policy pursued by European countries.
"From the humanitarian, humanistic and Christian points of view, we need to help those who suffer. Assistance can vary - as one famous metaphor goes, there's a difference in giving a hungry man one fish and a fishing rod which he can use to catch more fish," the patriarch said in an interview shown on the Russia Today TV on Tuesday.
"It means that support and assistance are helpful, but the primary focus should be given to eliminating the root cause behind the massive inflow of refugees into European countries," he said.
"It is the political destabilization in the Middle East that has led to it," the patriarch said.
"And so, we must do everything possible to resolve the ongoing conflict as soon as possible," he said, reiterating the need for coordinated work by all those concerned, primarily the United States, Russia, the European Union and Arab countries.
"We can't have several coalitions that say they have the same purpose, but are, in reality, going after different goals. We need to come together, and set a joint goal, and take action to achieve it. If this can be made possible, and if countries concerned over the spread of terrorism can provide a concerted response to the threat, this would definitely help to stabilize the situation in the Middle East and stop the inflow of refugees," he said.
"I am convinced that many refugees will leave Europe and return to their homes," he said.