Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has announced that his country will not take any invaders back from Western Europe without a guarantee that they will be sent on to Turkey.
Borissov added that he had informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders of Bulgaria’s standpoint at a meeting in Berlin last weekend.
According to the so-called Dublin regulation, the first EU member state that a migrant enters and registers in is responsible for handling his or her application for asylum.
This means that Western European countries such as Germany, Austria, and Sweden have the right to return refugees to Bulgaria who registered there having entered from Turkey.
“Over two million migrants are coming from Aleppo [in Syria], and Turkey is already at the end of its resources. I have firmly told European colleagues that we will not accept [back any] migrants if there is no readmission agreement with Turkey,” Borissov said.
“I told them directly—do you imagine me waiting at the airport for you to send me tens of thousands of refugees? I will simply not let the planes in,” he added.
Borissov met the German Chancellor and the Prime Ministers of Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia in Berlin to discuss the European refugee crisis. A day earlier, in Istanbul, Borissov met the Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, and the President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Yildirim used the talks to send a message to Europe via Borissov, warning that unless the EU guarantees visa-free travel for Turkish citizens by the end of October, Ankara may back out of its agreement to help stem the flow of invaders to Europe.
“The EU and Turkey have to show great efforts for the [EU-Turkey migrant] agreement to enter into force until October and to find steps to make it work after that. Because, good or bad, the agreement works,” Borissov noted.
At the meeting with Merkel and his colleagues from Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, Borissov also called for more European solidarity with Bulgaria in terms of protection of the EU’s external border.
He demanded more technical equipment from the EU in the form of helicopters and patrol boat for the needs of the border authorities.