Balkan countries threaten to close their borders

Serbia Romania, Bulgaria threaten to close their borders if EU countries cease to take in refugees

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Hungarian Army soldiers build a fence on the border with Croatia near Zakany, Hungary, October 1, 2015.

Updated Oct 25, 2015

Balkan countries said on Saturday that they will close their borders, if Germany and other EU countries stop taking in refugees and alerted that they do not want to be a buffer zone for thousands of new comers.

Leading officials of Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia gathered in Sofia before the EU leaders summit on Sunday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov said that these three countries want the EU to come up with a solution for the refugee crisis and they were not ready to let more refugees into their countries.

"The three countries, we are standing ready, if Germany and Austria close their borders, we will not allow our countries to become buffer zones. We will be ready to close borders," Borisov told reporters.

"We will not expose our countries to the devastating pressure of millions that would come." he added.

Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta said that this would be the primary issue of the Balkan countries in the meeting with EU leaders to handle the refugee crisis in the Balkans.

"We carry out our obligations, we are in solidarity with all of Europe, but the responsibility cannot be put with just some countries,” said Ponta.

"If there are countries which close their borders, or build fences, then we have the right to defend ourselves in a timely manner," he added.

Hungary built a razor wire fence to keep refugees out of the country and closed its border with Croatia. This stimulated Slovenia to do same on its border.

European Commission Chief, Jean-Claude Juncker summoned the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia for the summit and said, "Common operational conclusions which could be immediately implemented."

Refugees have rushed into Serbia from Greece to reach northern Europe, although Romania and Bulgaria have not been affected as much.

"It is important for the people to know that it is not a problem to register (refugees), or build bigger centers, nothing of this is a problem for Serbia," Serbian Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic told reporters.

"But if someone thinks that we can be the place for two or three million refugees: this is unrealistic," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies