22:59 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Albanian police officers detain Syrian migrants near the Albanian-Greek border near the city of Korca (File)

    Migration Crisis May Turn Montenegro Into 'Europe's Black Hole' – Journalist

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    Commenting on media reports about an increasing number of illegal migrants moving to major European countries via Montenegro's territory in an interview with Sputnik, Montenegrin journalist Brazen Zivkovic blamed local authorities for turning a blind eye to the issue.

    Admitting that illegal border crossings have already turned into a serious problem for Montenegro, Brazen Zivkovic has warned that the country may soon become a "black hole in Europe."

    "Everyone knows that there are pre-designated routes which are used to transfer people to Bosnia and Herzegovina for certain sums of money. Unfortunately, Montenegro [also] becomes a center for transportation of migrants from all directions," Zivkovic said.

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    He remained downbeat about the effectiveness of special protective barriers that may be installed on the Montenegrin border.

    "The fact is that Montenegro's authorities receive a fair amount of money from [Albanian] voters [during elections]. So in this situation political interests will win and no barriers will be built," Zivkovic pointed out.

    He explained that their construction "would provoke outrage among the Albanian population of Montenegro living on the border with Albania, a scenario that Montenegrin authorities want to avoid."

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    "As for the government's statements on the protection of the border, they are made in order to calm the public and no one is going to resolve the existing problem," Zivkovic concluded.

    Earlier this week, the Montenegrin news network RTCG reported that in the past 10 months, the number of refugees trying to get to Western Europe via Montenegro had significantly increased.

    Earlier, media reports said that the Hungarian government allegedly pledged to send barbed wire to Montenegro free of charge to help it protect its borders.

    With the Balkan route via Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Croatia closed for refugees in March 2016, Montenegro along with Bosnia and Herzegovina currently remain part of the so-called alternative route for scores of migrants trying to move to major European countries.

    Europe has been experiencing the worst migration crisis in its history, with more than 110,000 migrants and refugees having arrived in the EU by sea in 2017.

    The views and opinions expressed by Brazen Zivkovic are those of the journalist and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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