Slovakia reinforces border with Hungary with troops to deter migrants.
Slovakia’s newly formed government has announced the deployment of hundreds of police and military personnel along its border with Hungary to deter illegal migrants.
According to the government, in 2023, more than 40,000 undocumented migrants were detected at Slovakia’s borders.
Illegal migration must be controlled – Prime Minister Fico
The country’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Robert Fico, said illegal migration must be controlled. He warned that otherwise, people associated with “terrorist” groups could enter the country.
Fico did not give details of the deployment of troops on the Hungarian border but visited one of the checkpoints late on Monday to see the measures.
“We want to send a clear signal that with the new government, a new approach to illegal migration has come,” stated Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok.
The Slovak minister added that “large forces” would be deployed to protect the border areas with Hungary that are not official checkpoints.
On 5 October, the previous Slovak government resumed random checks on the border with Hungary. The decision came after neighbouring Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland reintroduced controls on their Slovak borders to curb migration.
At the same time, former Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor criticised the neighbours’ border controls, advocating a pan-European solution to the migration problem.
As a reminder, on 25 October, President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová appointed Robert Fico as the country’s Prime Minister at the Presidential Palace. Fico is known for pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian statements.
Why does Slovakia worry about its borders and migration?
Slovakia has recently seen an increase in the number of migrants and asylum seekers utilizing it as a transit country on their way to Western European nations. The migrants come primarily from Serbia via Hungary.
The four countries are all members of the EU’s Schengen visa-free zone.
According to the Interior Ministry, Bratislava has registered about 40,000 migrants this year as of October 1. This is an increase of 11 times over the previous year.