Milanka Opačić, Vesna Pusić, Ranko Ostojić.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

Croatia wants an agreement on refugees with Slovenia but one cannot be reached if 7,000 or 8,000 people enter Croatia and 2,500 Slovenia, Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said on Thursday.

"We launched the initiative to reach an agreement. I wrote to the foreign ministers of all the countries on this (refugee transit) corridor, asking that we reach an agreement, but we can't talk if 7,000-8,000 people enter Croatia and 2,500 Slovenia. We can't, because these people can't just evaporate. They all want to pass, no one wants to stay here, no one wants to stay in Slovenia either. They all want to reach Germany as soon as possible," Pusic said.

She said Slovenia had not yet accepted a proposal Croatia made at the beginning of the crisis that they transport the refugees to Austria together. She reiterated that these were extraordinary circumstances and that the Schengen and Dublin rules could not be fully adhered to.

Pusic said this was why Croatia had proposed coordinating activities and an agreement between the countries on the migrant route.

She reiterated the first step in really solving the refugee crisis was an agreement with Turkey and said that Turkey had apparently already reduced the number of people arriving in Greece. However, too many people are still arriving from Greece, which is why it is important to reach an agreement and help each other, she said.

She said the representatives of many countries who visited the Opatovac reception centre yesterday announced they would provide assistance. Winter tents, bunk beds, toilets and heated containers are most necessary at this moment, she said.

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