02:21 GMT29 May 2020
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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said Friday he was opposed to deploying troops to the border, arguing that the migrant surge on the EU’s frontier did not threaten the nation.

    "[Sending] the army to the border is not relevant to the present situation", the president said after the Balkan nation’s security council met to discuss the migrant buildup on the Turkish border with Greece.

    Croatia sent troops to guard one of the EU’s longest external borders amid the 2015 migrant influx. Milanovic said military presence was not needed this time because migrants did not threaten Croatia’s sovereignty.

    Thousands of mostly Syrian migrants massed at the Turkish border in the hope of crossing into Europe after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the way was open. Dimitrios Papadimoulis, vice president of the European Parliament has accused Erdogan of using the ongoing migrant crisis at the Greece-Turkey border to blackmail the European Union. Serbia and Macedonia said they were considering sending military reinforcements to their borders.

    Croatia alongside several other Eastern European countries has repeatedly objected to the open-door migration policy endorsed by other EU members. Despite multiple reports alleging police violence against migrants, the Croatian Interior Ministry has denied the claims, saying that its officers were preventing asylum-seekers from illegally entering the country.

    Zoran Milanovic, migrants, border, troops, Croatia
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