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Migration pressure at Hungary’s southern border has reached a “new level of danger,” the Foreign Minister said in Szabadka (Subotica), in northern Serbia, after meeting Nikola Selakovic, his Serbian counterpart on Monday.
Péter Szijjártó insisted that migrants were “increasingly aggressive and violent,” adding that “they now have weapons and they are using them.”
Szijjártó said Europe was facing “dramatic challenges,” including a “permanent inflationary environment” due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.
“The migrant crisis is escalating[…] and Hungary has to face that challenge presenting itself as pressure from the south and the east at the same time,” he said.
At a joint press conference he also pointed out that as a result of the increasingly intensive war in Ukraine, the number of migrants at Hungary’s eastern borders was growing, with over 10,000 refugees arriving daily, totalling over 820,000 so far.
“Concurrently, the pressure of migration is growing. More than 110,000 illegal migrants have been stopped at our southern border so far,” he said, adding that increasingly violent migrants carrying guns posed a security threat for both Serbia and Hungary. “We must make it clear that this is not a human rights issue,” he said. “I would like to make it clear that these people attacking our police and acting aggressively in Serbia, shooting guns, have no right whatsoever to enter Hungary’s territory,” he added.
Szijjártó said the migrants had been crossing through safe countries and violated several borders, which means that they arrived in Serbia by committing a series of crimes and “nobody has the right to act this way.” The situation will get increasingly serious because the war in Ukraine results in the threat of famine in several locations around the world, he said. “The food supply crisis will most probably put a more serious migratory pressure on Serbia and Hungary alike. As a result, I believe we are in the last hour that Brussels and NGOs linked to George Soros should stop encouraging migrants and organizing migration,” he added.
“We are asking Brussels and NGOs linked to Soros not to encourage the migrants, not to abet them to commit crimes and to violate the sovereignty of countries, such as Serbia and Hungary,” he said. The responsibility for violent crimes committed by migrants, including acts that caused the loss of lives, lie with those that encourage migrants to come to Serbia and Hungary, he continued.
Szijjártó said Hungary would not allow any illegal migrants to enter and advised them to not even try. “It is not worth coming to Serbia because they will not be able to move on to Hungary,” he added.
He said that while Hungary was fulfilling its duty to let in and help people fleeing from war in the east, and to stop the illegal migrants in the south, Brussels was holding back finances owed to Hungary “in an attempted political blackmail.”
Nikola Selakovic noted at the press conference that he has already met with his Hungarian counterpart for the ninth time in the last year and a half, which is proof of the good relations between the two countries. The Serbian Foreign Minister thanked his Hungarian counterpart for the fact that the government in Budapest encourages investors to look for investment opportunities in Serbia. He also thanked the Hungarian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for their support of Serbia’s European integration.
Featured image via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page