While it continues to welcome refugees fleeing Ukraine, Hungary has stressed that it will remain inflexible towards "illegal migrants" trying to cross the border from Serbia.
Hungary continues to allow the entry of Ukrainian refugees from its eastern border, but intends to remain inflexible towards migrants trying to cross into the country irregularly from its southern border with Serbia, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday, July 4.
"We will not allow illegal migrants to enter Hungary's territory, and they shouldn't even try to arrive in Serbia because they will not be granted the possibility of continuing their journey to Hungary. We will help Serbia protect its border," said Szijjarto in Subotica (northern Serbia), where his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic on July 4 signed a bilateral agreement on a new regime of border control.
110,000 irregular migrants reached the southern border this year
Stressing that Hungary has so far welcomed 820,000 Ukrainian refugees, Szijjarto said 110,000 "illegal" migrants have reached Hungary's southern border this year.
"These migrants are increasingly dangerous, aggressive and armed. This is not a human rights problem but a threat to the security of the two countries. I would like to clarify to these people who attack our police officers or behave in an aggressive way in Serbia that they don't have any right to enter Hungary's territory" said Szijjarto.
According to the minister, Serbia and Hungary must be ready to deal with new threats of this kind because of a global food crisis fueled by the conflict in Ukraine.
Recalling armed clashes over the past few days in Subotica between rival groups of migrants that left one person dead and several injured, Szijjarto once again criticized Brussels and NGOs which he accused of promoting illegal migration.
"We ask them not to encourage migrants to illegally cross our borders. Violating in this way the sovereignty of Hungary and Serbia," the Hungarian minister was quoted as saying by local media.