"If Croatia, Austria, Germany close borders so will Serbia"

The border between Macedonia and Serbia in the south is crossed every day by about 2,500 migrants and refugees.

Source: B92
Migrants cross the Macedonia-Serbia border (Tanjug/AP, file)
Migrants cross the Macedonia-Serbia border (Tanjug/AP, file)

It takes them several hours or at most a day to then arrive to Serbia's northwestern border with Croatia.

But what if the surrounding countries decide to close their borders?

"We are preparing for the tightening of the system, if Germany, Croatia, and Austria close their borders, so will we - we will not allow Serbia to be surprised by any of those measures," says Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic.

Serbia will not be able to cope with the influx of refugees expected in the spring and therefore mist turn to the EU for help, believes the director of the Asylum Protection Center NGO.

"It is difficult to assume that we will be able to control by legal means the entry and exit from the country, especially without cooperating with Macedonia; that the signed readmission agreement will be respected, which has not been the case until now," says Rados Djurovic.

Head of the UNHCR office in Serbia, however, has different expectations.

"I do not expect some great waves and I think that Serbia can continue to treat migrants as before, with the help of European institutions, of course. You have enough capacities for the present situation," says Hans Friedrich Schodder..

The West hopes to implementation the agreement reached with Turkey aimed at stemming the flow of migrants, and to distribute those already in Europe among EU member states. A meeting will be held on Monday in Geneva to discuss financial assistance to the countries on the migrant route, including Serbia.

Politics

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