‘Migrant crisis: Result of EU blindly joining US strategy’ – ex Yugoslav FM
RT: Just months ago, in the spring, the flow of migrants was relatively low, but now it's in the hundreds of thousands. What has changed?
Zivadin Jovanovic: I think that there has been growing inflow in the refugee centers and camps in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and other countries surrounding countries the conflicts in the Middle East. As a consequence we have a tremendous pace now of incoming refugees and immigrants here through the Balkans…For example, Serbia has received [within] the last couple of months over 160,000 immigrants and refugees. On [Sunday] night Serbia received a group of 5,000 new refugees. At the same time… borders to Hungary and Croatia have been almost closed. Now only passengers can pass border crossings, no trucks and no trade is flowing over the border crossings. Incidents occur close to the borders. And [yesterday] we heard the official representative of the EU commission say that all EU countries have a right to return refugees or immigrants to Serbia. Serbia is receiving a great many from the south - from Greece and Macedonia. And it [was] announced [yesterday] that Serbia is supposed to be receiving back those who are not accepted in EU countries. This makes the situation very difficult for Serbia and [leads to a] rise in tension in relations with neighboring countries.
RT: Germany has pointed the blaming finger at US foreign policy. But how much is Europe to blame?
ZJ: I have just returned from an international conference in Zurich which was devoted to the problem of immigrants, and I heard the assessment of a German analyst, who said it is joint project of the US, Turkey and elements of extreme Islamists. I just cannot confirm this and accept totally, but I certainly think there is [some] truth in that. However, Europe is to be blamed and Europe, it seems to me, is receiving back the fruits of a wrong policy in the past – first of all of joining almost blindly the US strategy of global interventionism…beginning with Yugoslavia in 1999 and then Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Mali and many other countries. Now Europe is faced with the fruits of its own wrong policy. I just hope that Europe will have to think twice in the future on how [it] would define its own interest and own policy.
RT: There is growing concern that there could be terrorists hiding among the refugees. How genuine is that risk?
ZJ: [It’s estimated] that around one million immigrants will come from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe before the end of this year. Only Germany has consented to accept 800,000. When you have such figures, such an enormous inflow, you can only suppose by theory of great numbers that there would be all kinds of people. Having regard that they are coming from war-torn areas… one can really suppose that terrorists may come too.
[On Monday] the Serbian government announced that they are discussing a new anti-terrorist strategy. I don’t attribute this exclusively to the inflow of immigrants, but it is certainly coincides with a growing number of immigrants…If they don’t handle this problem properly instead of 1.5 million this year Europe may have two or three million this year.
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