Vulin: European Human Rights Court decision doesn’t apply to Serbia

Migrants walk on train tracks after leaving a camp on the border with Slovenia in Spielfeld, Austria, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. Thousands of people are trying to reach central and northern Europe via the Balkans but often have to wait for days in mud and rain at the Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian borders. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

European Court of Human Rights’ decision that EU states can return migrants to those EU countries which they originally entered does not apply to Serbia.

Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said this on Thursday, observing that this was the case because Serbia is not an EU member.

“We are here to help, but we are also very much capable of protecting the country and of not allowing it to become a parking lot for migrants. Instead we only take care of these people in accordance with the law,” Vulin said in Nis, southern Serbia, where he visited the Serbian Army’s Ground Forces Command.

According to him, Serbia will be taking care, first and foremost, of “the everyday daily and security” of its citizens and territory.

“In the migrant crisis, we will continue to behave responsibly, as befits an organized, responsible and humane country,” Vulin said.

Earlier this week, Beta reported UNHCR’s figure of 5,203 migrants registered in Serbia as of July 23, of which 94 percent were staying in 18 government-run reception centers.

From July 1 to July 23, 206 refugees declared intet to apply for asylum in Serbia, a UNHCR report said, adding that there had been “157 collective expulsions from Croatia, and that many migrants said that Croatia had denied them access to asylum-seeking procedure.”

Another 59 migrants were expelled from Hungary. Last week, 48 asylum seekers, mostly families from Afghanistan, Iraq and Sirya, were allowed into Hungary, the UN refugee agency said.

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