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Austrian FM Backs Move to Close Balkan Route for Undocumented Migrants

© AP Photo / Giannis PapanikosThe sun rises as refugees and migrants walk to pass from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The sudden onset of autumn has taken tens of thousands by surprise all along the Balkans route from Greece to Hungary
The sun rises as refugees and migrants walk to pass from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The sudden onset of autumn has taken tens of thousands by surprise all along the Balkans route from Greece to Hungary - Sputnik International
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Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said EU borders should remain shut in the Balkans.

People look at the Macedonian side of the border through a fence in the makeshift camp at the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni, on March 3, 2016. - Sputnik International
'Uncontrolled' Migrant Influx via Balkan Route 'Must Be History'
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said EU borders should remain shut in the Balkans and elsewhere to prevent migrants from slipping into Europe, in a Sunday interview with German media.

"Borders must remain closed," Kurz told Bild am Sonntag. "We must continue doing what we’ve been doing on the Western Balkan route and on the Mediterranean route and in Italy to make it clear that you can no longer uncontrollably sneak into Europe."

Austria was one of the countries that tighten border controls last year after a huge influx of refugees raised concerns over the EU refugee policy, followed by Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.

Last month, Austria also capped the number of asylum claims it was ready to accept per day and limited the number of arrivals to 3,200.

Kurz added that the borders could be opened when the stream of asylum seekers to Europe decreased. According to European Council President Donald Tusk, 128,000 people came to the European Union through the Western Balkan route in the first two months of this year.

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