Rising Tensions Between Croatia and Serbia

Total Croatia News

Tensions are increasing at the border between Croatia and Serbia.

During the night, a new escalation of tensions between Croatia and Serbia took place, after Serbia decided to introduce countermeasures for the decision of Croatian government to close the Bajakovo border crossing for freight traffic, reports Vecernji List on September 24, 2015.

At midnight, Serbia began blocking the entry of Croatian goods and has announced that other measures will also be taken. However, Croatia immediately reacted and banned the passenger traffic over Bajakovo as well. Croatian interior minister Ranko Ostojić said that “Bajakovo will remain closed to all vehicles with Serbian license plates as long as the refugees do not start going through the Horgoš border crossing between Serbia and Hungary”.

Ostojić added that the Croatian measures are a response to “discrimination that Serbia is demonstrating against Croatian trucks”. He stressed that Croatia will not accept any ultimatums. “It cannot be that thousands of refugees are coming here, and that there is not a single Serbian policeman around. I do not know what kind of communication they are talking about. Are refugees falling from the sky? This is not a silent war between Croatia and Serbia, this is just a response to their measures”, said Ostojić.

Serbian justice minister Nikola Selaković said for Serbian Radio-Television that Serbia did nothing to provoke the measures taken by Croatia against it and that Serbia has been “brutally assaulted”. “Serbia is not happy, we consider the situation to be very serious. When the migrant crisis began, we showed how countries should act, even though we were the only one doing it. Serbia has been brutally attacked by Croatia”, said Selaković, adding that he can only speculate about the reasons for the Croatian moves.

Yesterday evening in Brussels, after the meeting of the European Council, Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović said that the heads of the EU member states have not discussed the problems between Croatia and Serbia. “No one at the meeting of the European Council has seen the letter that Vučić sent”, said Milanović, adding that he is “not making fun of Serbia”. “This kind of manipulation might pass in Belgrade, but it will not pass in Zagreb and in Europe”, said Milanović. “The measures taken by Serbia are ridiculous. We will respond to them. Exactly how will be decided by the minister of internal affairs”, concluded Milanović.

At the yesterday’s emergency meeting of the European Council, the EU has decided to increase support to UN agencies assisting refugees in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, the refugees are continuing to arrive to Croatia. During the night, several thousand refugees have arrived to the Opatovac reception centre. There is a possibility that some of the refugees in Opatovac will be transferred to a reception centre in Beli Manastir. The sixteenth refugee train has left Tovarnik at 3.10 am, and it is expected that it will bring the refugees to Botovo on the border between Croatia and Hungary.


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