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EU concedes challenge of migration crisis – Serbian president

March 08, 2016, 0:00 UTC+3

“We are a transit country which is committed to all of its liabilities. But, as a matter of fact, we depend on others," Nikolic said

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Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic

© FoNet/Nenad Djordjevic

BELGRADE, March 8. /TASS/. The European Union has conceded the first serious challenge like the current migration crisis, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said in an interview with TASS ahead of his visit to Russia that begins on March 9.

“It happened so that the European Union has conceded the first serious challenge and has demonstrated that what is being signed or agreed, what is the reason why many countries have waived part of their sovereignty to embrace a supranational sovereignty, everything is going to pieces when challenges,” like the current migration crisis, arise, he stressed.

In this respect, in his words, “Serbia enjoys a benefit of being a transit country.”

“As a matter of fact, neither of them [migrants] wants to live here. First, they are not used to living in Serbia, then, they have no one here, neither relatives nor anyone who have settled down here before them and are able to help them. Third, there are no jobs for them here. Not all of our people have jobs and they are fully aware of that. There are other transit countries but not all of them behaved that well Serbia did,” Nikolic said.

“We are a transit country which is committed to all of its liabilities. But, as a matter of fact, we depend on others. We depend on when Germany or Austria says: we have exhausted our resources,” the Serbian leader noted. “The problem is what is to be done with people who have come and don’t want to go. What is to be done with people when they come. We have no fences, no barbed wire, no nothing. We never wanted to make a cage for anyone. How should one behave towards people who no longer respect his laws but who are people, human beings all the same? Serbia is not to blame for them having no job in the Middle East or in Africa, for ongoing warfare there. Serbia is least to blame but it might happen so that Europe will shut itself completely whereas they [migrant] go on arriving, breaking through the border of Greece and Macedonia, Macedonia and Serbia,” he said, adding that his country will not be able to accept more than 3,000 migrants for permanent sojourn.

The Serbian leader admitted he is not very optimistic about prospects for stopping migration. “A tectonic upheaval rocked the entire continent. Only those who had evil designs or lacked skills to deal with the policy of a huge country influencing practically the entire could trigger wars in five or six countries and think that nothing would happen,” Nikolic added.

Read an Extended Interview with Tomislav Nikolic

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