AMSTERDAM – Serbia is a credible EU partner in the refugee crisis, but it cannot afford to become a refugee centre, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Saturday.

Photo: MFA
Photo: MFA

At an informal Amsterdam meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states and candidate countries, Dacic warned that a chain reaction of a drastic drop in border throughput or closure of borders would be particularly dangerous to Serbia and the entire region, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

That would halt the flow of migrants, causing them to stay in Serbian territory in larger numbers and over longer periods of time, which would be an exceptional burden to us, Dacic warned.

Serbia is unable to take back migrants who had transited through its territory as it has neither the funds nor the capacities for this, and it is not the country of first entry either, Dacic said.

Serbia can temporarily accommodate several thousand migrants – it has single-handedly ensured additional accommodation for 3,000 migrants and will try to do the same for 3,000 more if it is given concrete financial assistance from the EU, he said.