Hungary, migrants, refugees, FAH-H9218138.jpg
Photograph: EPA

Croatia and Albania will prevent a new migrant route from opening across the Adriatic Sea, the defence ministers of the two countries, which could be hit my migrants after the closing of the Balkan route, said in Zagreb on Thursday.

Ministers Josip Buljevic of Croatia and Mimi Kodheli of Albania talked about cooperation between their armies to prevent a new migrant route from opening across the Greek-Albanian border and the Adriatic Sea.

Albania borders Greece, where tens of thousands of migrants are stuck after the closing of the Greek-Macedonian border, and could become their alternative route towards western Europe, which over a million refugees reached last year by the Balkan route.

"We have agreed a constant exchange of information on the movement of migrants, a constant contact between the two armies... and to jointly intervene and respond to any question," Buljevic told a joint news conference.

He said the police were controlling the Croatian border and that, under a recently amended law, the army could only assist them in doing that. "However, in preventing a migrant flow we can do a lot and we mostly talked about how to prevent a situation which would be very unfavourable for us, if migrants entered Croatia in the south. I think it won't happen because we will do our utmost to prevent it."

Kodheli said in Albania too the army only assisted the police in dealing with migrants and security. "In any case, we will be part of a European solution to the problem which isn't easy, but we can succeed by cooperating."

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