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Switzerland and Austria complain to the European Commission about Serbia: It has become the gateway to the Balkans for refugees, ordered by Russia

Switzerland and Austria complain to the European Commission about Serbia: It has

In the shadow of the war in Ukraine, the number of asylum seekers in Switzerland and Austria has increased significantly in recent weeks. More and more illegal immigrants are arriving through the Western Balkans, Swiss media write . Both Austria and Switzerland are not preferred destination countries, but serve as transit stations for refugees.

Both countries therefore have a common interest in stopping these migration flows. Federal Counselor Karin Keller-Sutter and her Austrian counterpart, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner, agreed on a joint action plan at a meeting in Zurich on Wednesday, after Austria registered the highest number of asylum seekers in the EU in August.

Both countries not only have common interests, but together they have also identified the most important gate for a large part of refugees. This is Serbia, which is causing great unrest in the region with its visa policy. Serbia has permanent visa waivers for citizens of India, Tunisia, Cuba, Burundi and China. Some of these people who enter Serbia never return to their countries, but travel to Austria via Hungary with the help of smugglers. According to Karner, for this they pay from 3000 to 7000 euros. Refugees from these countries have virtually no chance of asylum either in Switzerland or Austria.

Therefore, the most important element of the action plan is the joint migration policy initiatives at the European level. Switzerland and Austria, along with Germany, Croatia and Slovenia, have intervened in the European Commission. In a letter, she is asked to put pressure on Serbia and achieve an adjustment of the visa policy of the Western Balkan countries. "

Regarding the reasons why Serbia is giving visas so freely, the Minister of Justice carefully explained: " The war in Ukraine can lead to the inclusion of different interests in the visa policy."

Recently, Keller-Sutter has expressed himself even more clearly in interviews with "Echo der Zeit" and Tamedia Group newspapers. She had said that Eastern European countries had expressed suspicions that Russia was cooperating with traditional ally Serbia to destabilize Western Europe through increasing numbers of migrants. However, this cannot be controlled.

 

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