Serbia could use troops, "won't accept refugees turned back"
Serbia will not accept refugees that Hungary wants to send back, "even if we have to deploy soldiers to the border," says a Labor Ministry state secretary.Source: Beta
Speaking late on Monday ahead of the enactment of Hungary's new, stricter border control legislation, Nenad Ivanisevic said:
"If they want to send them back, they'll have to send them back to Greece. That was the first country of entry into the EU. We will not accept them even at the price of Serbia deploying soldiers to its border."
Ivanisevic also told a seminar of human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers held in Subotica, northern Serbia, that the country has a readmission agreement "defining clearly, according to international law, that readmission is conducted along with determining the country of origin and citizenship."
"Serbia will not make a single decision that will disturb its relations with any state, but will know how to care for both its citizens and its interests, and what that means, we'll see concretely in the next couple of days," Ivanisevic said.
He added that Serbia is now "waiting for the EU to establish what rules are in force for refugees, and what for migrants," and will make its decisions "according to that."
This state official also said that rights of refugees in Serbia are "respected for the most part, especially compared to other countries."
"As for the statements of some people, as was the case in Kanjiza, I can only say it is very hard to perform public office and help people, and it's very hard to look oneself in the mirror after statements like that," the Beta agency quoted Ivanisevic as saying.
UN representative in Serbia Irena Vojackova Sollarno said that the situation with refugees was changing by the hour, and added she hoped Serbia would maintain the whole situation "in a state better than in some other countries."
"More than 70 percent of the population escaping Syria are refugees, running away from a situation that is for them a matter of life and death, and it is up to us to do all that we can to help them."