Ro­ma­nia coast guard res­cues 157 mi­grants from Black Sea

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

RO­MA­NIA’S coast guard res­cued more than 150 mi­grants from Iraq and Iran from a ship in dis­tress on the Black Sea, on what is be­com­ing a new route for mi­grants try­ing to reach Western Europe. The rusty ship was towed to the Black Sea port of Con­stanta, be­fore dawn yes­ter­day. Mi­grants are in­creas­ingly try­ing to cross the Black Sea from Tur­key to reach Ro­ma­nia. Last week­end, coast guard forces from Ro­ma­nia and Bul­garia in­ter­cepted 217 mi­grants on the Black Sea in two boats who were sus­pected of try­ing to en­ter Ro­ma­nia. Krzysztof Borowski, a spokesman for the EU’s bor­der agency, Fron­tex, told the AP, that “smug­glers are test­ing this route with the Black Sea,” and that it was “an at­tempt to re­vive the route.” In 2014, he said some 430 mi­grants used the route, but that fell the fol­low­ing year to 68 and just one in 2016.

Over the week­end, Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties stopped 313 mi­grants on the Black Sea at­tempt­ing to reach Balkan coun­tries. Any new in­flux of mi­grants through the Black Sea could fur­ther ex­ac­er­bate po­lit­i­cal strains within the EU over the is­sue.

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