Border tensions rise for Croatia and Serbia

The situation could only be resolved “by simply lifting the blockade”.


Croatian police said Friday the border is now open “to all traffic without restrictions”.

Croatia and Serbia have been involved in an escalating trade dispute since Zagreb banned Serbian cargo traffic on Monday, in a bid to force Belgrade to send migrants in the direction of Hungary and Romania instead of Croatia.

Thousands of migrants from conflict-torn regions in the Middle East and Africa had been crossing into Croatia on a daily basis, in search of alternative routes to Western Europe after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic says border restrictions with Serbia would be removed in the next 24 hours.

It is also said that Batrovci/Bajakovo border crossing remained closed for freight transport except for trucks with perishable goods.

Serbia’s foreign ministry, in a strongly worded protest note to Croatia, said the latest measures were “discriminatory” against Serbs and compared them to the actions of the Nazi puppet regime in Croatia during World War II.

The European Union commissioner in charge of enlargement Johannes Hahn, together with Serbian Premier Aleksandar Vucic, visited this morning a centre for refugees in Sid, in north-western Serbia at the border with Croatia.

Nearly 200 Croatian companies trade in Serbia – including all of its major supermarket chains.

Vucic noted that although Serbia was the country through which the largest number of the refugees had passed, they were all treated well and Serbia had no troubles with them.

“We responded with economic measures without disrespect for Croatian citizens”.


According to the Croatian government, around 5,000 new refugees entered the country from Serbia Thursday night. “I can give my own assessment, and you know that I am nearly always pessimistic, I think we can resolve this in the next few days”, he said. Croatia is angry that Serbia is busing migrants to its border, rather than sending them north to Hungary.

Border tensions rise for Croatia and Serbia