Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Serbia dissatisfied with EU's failure to fulfill promises over migrant crisis: PM

Serbia is doing all it can to assist European countries to prevent illegal migrations but is dissatisfied with Europe's lack of a common solution for the migrant crisis, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Monday in Belgrade.

Kurz arrived in Belgrade for an official visit and during meeting with Vucic both sides discussed what the two countries can do together in the context of the migrant crisis and other challenges that countries of the Western Balkans are facing.

At the press conference, Vucic said that Serbia wishes to be a part of a joint solution for the migrant crisis together with other European countries.

However, Vucic said, the European Union (EU) didn't fulfill promises made so far, threatening to turn Serbia and other countries of the Balkan route into "parking lots for migrants."

"We have fulfilled our obligations in line with what was agreed earlier in Brussels. We haven't used force against migrants, not once, but we also do not wish that our country becomes a parking lot for them. Austria or any other European country do not wish this either, because they are not prepared to pay such a price either," he said.

Vucic revealed that around 6,000 people are currently accommodated in Serbia's shelters for asylum seekers, while several hundred more are refusing to be sheltered despite the harsh winter conditions.

"We keep most of the migrants in Serbia accommodated in shelters, and we invite others, around 500 people to come there too. However, they do not wish to do so, because staying outside of shelters perhaps makes it easier for them to find smugglers who would transport them further on across the Danube to Croatia and further on towards other European countries," Vucic said.

He explained that currently around 200 people illegally enter Serbia daily across FYROM and Bulgarian borders.

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