A dispute between Serbia and Croatia, following Croatia closing all but one of its border crossings with Serbia after almost 50,000 migrants crossed into Croatia from Serbia in just over a week, escalated yesterday as Serbia banned all imports of Croatian goods and Croatia responded by barring all vehicles with a Serbian licence plate from entering the country. Serbia had set a deadline of midnight on Wednesday for Croatia to lift a blockade on Serbian cargo that it implemented last week, and introduced the new sanctions when that deadline passed without Croatia reopening its borders.
Croatia has objected to the volume of migrants crossing its border, with Croatian Prime Minister Milanovic stating that more than 4000 to 5000 migrants entering the country per day “will not work, and I will not allow it”. It has blamed Serbia for transporting migrants to the border with Croatia, rather than moving them north towards Hungary. Croatia is a vital conduit for goods from Serbia to be transported into the rest of Europe, though Serbian Prime Minister Vucic believes that the financial losses caused by the sanctions will be high on both sides and added that Serbia “will not respond to the latest Croatian sanctions”.