Slovakia to send police to patrol Hungary’s border

Slovakia sends police to guard Hungary’s border with Serbia against refugees crossing illegally

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees walk towards the Austrian border from Hegyeshalom, Hungary on September 29, 2015

Updated Oct 15, 2015

The Slovak government said on Wednesday that it would deploy 50 police officers to neighbouring Hungary to tighten the security on its border with Serbia and stop refugees crossing its border on the southeastern boundary of the European Union.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said that Slovak police would notify patrols on the southern border on October 20.

Slovakia will also send an undisclosed number of soldiers to Hungary for dealing with the influx of refugees, Slovak Defense Minister Martin Glvac said.

According to documents on the government website, the Slovak police has been working on Hungary’s border with Serbia for a month.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic also agreed on sending soldiers and police to the Hungarian border.

Central European nations along with Slovakia, dealing with the influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other conflict zones, have said that the bloc must reinforce its external boundaries.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Presidents of the Visegrad countries during their meeting in Hungary on October 9, 2015 (AFP)

The Visegrad-Four countries, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic, will finalise a deal on the joint policing of Hungary’s southern border at a European Council meeting on Thursday in Brussels, the Hungarian foreign ministry said.

"It is a confirmation of solidarity among the four Visegrad states. The Hungarian border is obviously among the most exposed segments of the EU frontier," Kalinak said.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said that the joint policing project would be implemented for a one-month trial period adding that the period “provides guidance for other countries on how to defend the external Schengen border.”

"If the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary join their forces it will be a significant contribution to the protection of the Schengen border between Hungary and Serbia," Fico said, referring to the boundary marking the start of the EU's passport-free zone.

EU members have struggled to agree on a plan for mandatory national quotas to share out 120,000 refugees among the bloc’s 28 members. The plan was approved last month. However, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic had opposed to the quota system including redistribution of refugees within the European Union.

Slovakia launched a lawsuit against its EU partners at the European court in Luxembourg due to the mandatory decision. Fico said that Slovakia would challenge the quota system in court.

Fico also said that the EU was no longer safe due to raising the spectra of militants entering Slovakia under the guise of refugees as experts presume a possibility unlikely.

The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia have so far seen few refugees passing through their territories to Germany and other European countries, unlike their EU neighbours Austria and Hungary.

TRTWorld and agencies