Serbia Will Keep Borders Open to Migrants, PM Vucic Says

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | October 27, 2015, Tuesday // 21:09
Bulgaria: Serbia Will Keep Borders Open to Migrants, PM Vucic Says Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic speaks to the media at a small summit of leaders to discuss refugee flows along the Western Balkans route, at EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 25 October 2015. Photo EPA/BGNES

Serbia won’t close its borders to migrants, the country’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said.

Instead, Serbia will do its best to help migrants arriving at its borders, Vucic has said in an interview with German daily newspaper Handelsblatt, Serbian news agency Tanjug reported on Tuesday.

Regardless of whether Croatia will build a razor wire fence along its border with Serbia - like Hungary had done – Serbia’s government won’t be putting up fences on the country’s borders, including those with Bulgaria and Macedonia, Vucic said.

Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania must act together, in solidarity with Europe and demand solidarity from the other European countries to better manage the refugee crisis, Vucic said at a meeting with his Bulgaian and Romanian counterparts Boyko Borisov and Victor Ponta in Sofia last week. Borisov said after the meting that if Germany and Austria closed their borders to migrants, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia will be ready to do the same.

In his interview with Handelsblatt Vucic rejected the view that the support for refugees will negatively impact economic recovery.

There were more than 10,000 migrants in Serbia a week ago, stranded by limits imposed further west and north in Europe, according to the UN refugee agency.

Non-EU Serbia and EU member Croatia agreed on Friday to increase the flow of asylum-seekers over their border after thousands spent a night out in the open in near-zero temperatures. The interior ministers of the two countries agreed that the Serbian authorities will send migrants directly to Croatia by train so the people won't have to trek kilometers in rain and mud.

After Hungary erected razor-wire fences along its borders with Serbia and Croatia, migrants still cross from Turkey to Greece to Macedonia to Serbia, but now go west via Croatia and Slovenia.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Serbia, Vucic, migrants, borders, refugees, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia
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