Croatia closes border to Serbian vehicles

Croatia closes its border for vehicles holding Serbian number plates

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Croatian border police stated on Thursday that the country's border has closed for Serbian citizens and vehicles as a result of a Serbian embargo on Croatian products following a dispute over an influx of refugees crossing the countries' borders. 

According to the Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic the rule applies only to vehicles and not for citizens.

"As far as people are concerned, they can enter Croatia," he said. "Our border is ready and open for any other car without Serbian registration. Buses with Serbian registration will not enter into Croatia."

However, earlier today Croatian police stated that the borders were closed for both Serbian passport holders and vehicles.

"Serbian passport holders and cars registered in Serbia cannot enter Croatia until further notice," a police officer told Reuters.

Croatia took the decision in reltaliation for Serbia banning Croatian goods and cargo vehicles from crossing the border on Wednesday, which in turn was in response to Croatia closing most of its border gates with Serbia to stem the refugee influx. 

"I am sorry about this. We had planned to open the border today but now we have to react to this," Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said.

"There will be no war or violence, everything will be calm, but this is not normal behaviour [by Serbia]," he added.

More than 40,000 migrants and some Syrian refugees crossed into Croatia after Hungary sealed its border with a fence to prevent the refugees from entering.

TRTWorld and agencies