PM: Better pay Turkey than risk uncontrolled refugee flow

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Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis thinks that it's better to pay Turkey to keep immigrants inside the country rather than risk Latvia facing an uncontrolled migrant flow, he told Latvian Television (LTV) Thursday morning.

If Turkey's request for an extra €3b for tackling the migrant crisis is accepted, Latvia would have to pay one to two million euros from the state budget, Kučinskis told LTV.

According to Kučinskis, financial aid could be provided if it would "slow down the asylum seekers' flow".

A deal was announced Monday that could see cooperation between Turkey and the EU, ending the flow of irregular refugees to Greek islands and starting the resettlement of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey to the EU.

Under the tit-for-tat deal Turkey demands an extra €3b and visa-free travel within the Schengen zone. The deal would see EU resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkish camps in exchange for every Syrian that Turkey takes from Greece.

The EU has postponed a decision until a summit next week.

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