Nikolic: Serbia will shut borders if EU won't accept migrants

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has said that Serbia will be compelled to shut its border to migrants if countries in the European Union do not accept them, adding that Brussels probably will not object as it has not objected to EU member Hungary's behaviour toward migrants either.

"We have to shut our border to migrants because they did not want to come here and live with us in the first place," Nikolic told reporters on Monday, underscoring that Belgrade was in constant negotiation with Brussels and that it was not necessary for Serbia to have accommodation capacity for more than 5,000 or 6,000 migrants.

"We do not need quality accommodation capacity for more than five to six thousand people because that would mean that someone is planning for these people to remain here for a longer period," Nikolic said.

According to Nikolic, if Serbia becomes a "funnel which isn't allowing water to pass through because others behind it have shut their borders, we will be forced to close our border too."

"It is necessary to react quickly in cooperation with the EU and if Hungary has not angered it till now, then Serbia certainly won't," Nikolic said, underscoring that the situation where migrants are registered for the first time when they arrive in Serbia must not continue, "it's as if they fell here from Mars."

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will meet with European Parliamentary rapporteur on Serbia David McAllister and members of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) in the German Bundestag to discuss the migrant crisis, among other topics.

The migrant crisis will also be discussed at a meeting of Serbian and Hungarian officials in Budapest on Monday, following Sunday's referendum in Hungary on EU migrant quotas with the majority of those who went to the polls voting against those quotas. The referendum, however, is not valid as less than 50% of the electorate went to the polls.

Last update: Mon, 03/10/2016 - 15:32
Author: 

More from Balkan

Greek parliament approves 2017 budget

The Greek parliament approved the government's 2017 budget on Saturday evening, the parliamentary steering committee...

Bulgarian cargo train explosion kills five, injures 29

Five people died and 29 were injured in Bulgaria on Saturday when a freight train hauling gas tanks derailed and...

Mladic's defence claims he is innocent

The defence for former Bosnian Serb war-time commander Ratko Mladic said on Friday in a closing statement before the...

Bosnian Croat military police officer gets 10 years in jail for war crimes in Orasje

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sentenced, pending appeal, a former commander of the Military Police of the...

Bosnian businesses expand halal production, eye exports

 Bosnian banks, food producers and hoteliers are adopting halal standards to tap a fast-growing market thanks to the...