Belgrade, 08/16/2021 –The director of Asylum Protection Center says that after the Taliban took over Kabul, a massive influx of refugees from that country can be expected.
According to Radoš Đurović, they primarily gravitate, via the Mediterranean, towards Turkey and Iran, but also towards the countries of Western Europe via the Balkans and Serbia.
Đurović told Tanjug that for now there is no extremely large influx of refugees because the roads in Afghanistan are blocked and unsafe, but it is expected that the Taliban will allow a large number of people to leave the country.
“With every influx of refugees from Central Asia or the Middle East, it is realistic to expect that a number of them will try to reach Western Europe, which, along with Turkey and Iran, is one of their options,” says Đurović.
However, the question, he says, is how the issue of a more massive wave of refugees from Afghanistan, whose first destination is Turkey, will be resolved, and whether Turkish President Recep Erdogan will abuse their difficult position as refugees and blackmail Europe.
Đurović says that it is to be expected that the influx of refugees to the Greek islands will intensify, but he believes that Europe’s response will be different than in 2015 because, he adds, the EU has been building a system of connected courts of countries that have barriers on the corridor that leads through the Balkans.
“From Turkey to Austria, all countries are somehow involved in the European policy of stopping migration. All countries on the Balkan route have fences, reinforced police forces and are ready to react in situations of unpredictable influx of people,” Đurović points out.
He notes that Serbia has a particularly sensitive position as the last country to the borders of the EU and the “Schengen-zone” and that unlike other countries, such as North Macedonia or Albania, this puts it in a difficult position. “All these countries can let migrants through, and they get stuck in our country, on the sharp borders of the EU,” Đurović states.
He believes that Serbia’s response will be coordinated with the countries in the region and under the coordination of the EU, and warns that Serbia does not have the technical or reception capacity to respond to a significant increase and stay of refugees in the country and that it must be thought about urgently.
“We cannot be guided by the fact that people will pass through our country in a short period of time because the EU makes it impossible. What we can do is insist on solidarity with the EU and our neighbors and warn of a scenario that could happen and that we will not be able to withstand the massive influx and acceptance of refugees,” Đurović states.