Croatia-Serbia border tensions escalate

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Series Details 24.09.15
Publication Date 24/09/2015
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Relations between Croatia and Serbia were increasingly under strain in September 2015 due to the migrant and refugee crisis hitting the region.

Following Croatia's decision to close its border with Serbia to cargo traffic as it suffered from an influx of around 50,000 migrants coming for its neighbouring country, Serbian authorities reacted by applying the same limitations to Croatian trucks.

The situation escalated when Croatia then extended the ban to any Serbian vehicle and reportedly to citizens. The decision was met with anger by the Serbian foreign ministry on 24 September, comparing the measures to those taken by Croatia’s Nazi puppet state during World War II. Since then, Serbia started a ban on Croatian goods in retaliation to the initial ban which, according to Serbian authorities, was hitting the country's economy and violated the terms of the Association Agreement with the European Union.

Some analysts highlighted that the refugee crisis had brought back resentments dating from the conflicts hitting the Balkans in the 90s when Yugoslavia was dissolved.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Croatia to allow refugees passage into EU
ESO: Background information: Serbia happy to help EU, ambivalent about refugee hub status
BBC News, 24.09.15: Migrant crisis stirs historical Croatia-Serbia enmity
The New York Times, 24.09.15: Croatia and Serbia Trade Barbs as Migration Crisis Strains Ties
The Wall Street Journal, 24.09.15: Croatia Ramps Up Migrant Dispute With Serbia by Closing Key Border
BBC News, 24.09.15: Migrant crisis: Serbia compares Croatia to 'fascist-era regime'
The Telegraph, 24.09.15: Croatia bans Serbian citizens from entering its territory after Belgrade blocked Croatian goods
Deutsche Welle, 24.09.15: Croatia-Serbia border row escalates
The Guardian, 22.09.15: Refugees stuck in no man's land between Croatia and Serbia
Euronews, 24.09.15: Croatia and Serbia hit each other with further border embargoes, 28.09.15: Exodus to Europe: Dublin Regulation a bad deal (via Euro|Topics)
ESO: Information Guide: European Migration Challenges

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