Not Many Syrian Refugees Welcomed in Russia
Tens of thousands of refugees from Syria continue to flee unrest by traveling to Europe and neighboring countries.
But many do not seek refuge in Russia, despite longtime political and economic relations between the two countries.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, there were 238,836 refugees and asylum seekers in Russia as of January. Only 2,340 were from Syria. And that number has dropped to about 1,600.
Turkey has taken in over 2 million Syrians. Germany is expected to have as many as 1.5 million refugees by the end of this year. Most of those refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bayisa Wak-Woya is the UNHCR representative for Russia. He said, "Unlike in the West, where people have a tradition of dealing with asylum-seekers and refugees for the last six, seven decades, here it's a fairly new phenomenon." And many in Russia view refugees as foreigners and migrants.
Another reason is the great distance from Syria to Russia. The distance between Moscow and Damascus is about 2,500 km. That means most Syrian asylum-seekers have to come by plane, not by boat, bus, and train like those arriving in Europe.
A UNHCR spokesman says Russia's airstrikes could increase the number of Syrian refugees to neighboring countries like Turkey. But he adds that a jump in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Russia is unlikely.
Russia has granted refugee status for 790 people as of January. Most are from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Only two persons are from Syria.
Elena Burtina is with the refugee aid group Civic Assistance Committee in Moscow. She notes that the much smaller Republic of Malta has given refugee status to more people than Russia.
"Russia ratified the convention on refugees," she said. "It's taken on the responsibility to accept them. Of course it should do more. They shouldn't have signed if they didn't want refugees. They weren't forced to do it."
I'm Jonathan Evans.
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1."Russia ratified the convention on refugees," she said. "It's taken on the responsibility to accept them. Of course it should do more. They shouldn't have signed if they didn't want refugees. They weren't forced to do it."
take on 承担；接纳；呈现
I shall take on the work with humility and dedication.
He never seeks credit for himself, but is always ready to take on arduous tasks.
他在荣誉面前从不伸手, 但在艰巨任务面前却当仁不让 。
2.According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, there were 238,836 refugees and asylum seekers in Russia as of January. Only 2,340 were from Syria. And that number has dropped to about 1,600.
dropped to 降至；跌至
The pilots dropped to the altitudes under 500ft.
The temperature dropped to minus ten degrees centigrade.
据联合国难民署报告显示：在1月份，俄罗斯收容了238836名难民和寻求避难人员 。其中只有2340名难民来自叙利亚 。而此数据如今已下降至1600人 。
土耳其现已接收200多万名难民 。预计到今年年底，德国也将接纳150万名难民 。这些难民大多来自叙利亚、阿富汗和伊拉克 。
Bayisa Wak-Woya是联合国难民署的俄罗斯代表 。他表示，“俄罗斯并不像西方国家那样，在过去的六七年里有收容和处理难民的经验，对于俄罗斯来说，这是一个完全陌生的现象，”至今，许多俄罗斯人民仍然把难民看作外国人或者移民 。
另一个原因就是两国之间的距离问题 。莫斯科与大马士革之间的距离大约为2500公里 。这就意味着大多数叙利亚难民必须乘坐飞机才能到达这里，而去往欧洲国家只需要搭乘船只，公共汽车或者火车 。
联合国难民署的发言人称，俄罗斯的空袭可能导致越来越多的叙利亚难民逃往其邻国土耳其 。他还补充道，看来俄罗斯的难民人数增长是不可能了 。
俄罗斯已经为1月份到达的790多名难民授予了新的身份 。这些难民大多来自阿富汗和乌克兰 。其中只有2名来自叙利亚 。
Elena Burtina是莫斯科民间援助委员会的难民救助小组成员 。她指出，马耳他共和国虽然比俄罗斯小，但救助并授予难民新身份的数量却比俄罗斯多 。
“俄罗斯既然批准了难民公约，”她说 。“接纳难民是其应该担负的责任 。当然应该做的不仅仅是这些 。如果不想接纳难民，当初就不应该签署协议 。没有人强迫他们这样做 。”