Romania is stepping up the monitoring of its border with Serbia in a bid to stem illegal crossings by migrants, the Interior Ministry in Bucharest said Friday.

 

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The measures include deploying additional personnel, more units with dogs, infra-red cameras and a helicopter to the border zone, the ministry said, without providing concrete figures.

 

However, few migrants and refugees have tried to pass through Romania even in the 11 months since its western neighbour and fellow EU country Hungary sealed its border to those arriving from Serbia and Croatia.

 

Since last year, about 1 million migrants crossed the Balkans en route to western Europe.

 

The Balkan route was officially shut down in March, following an EU-Turkey deal on the return of economic migrants and distribution of Syrian refugees across the bloc.

 

Migrants have continued filtering through the Balkans, mostly through Bulgaria and Serbia, with many remaining stranded on the Hungarian border for weeks and months.