Denmark announced the immediate introduction of random controls at the German border, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Monday, on the same day neighbouring Sweden introduced controls on its frontier with Denmark to stem the flow of refugees.
“When other Nordic countries seal their borders it can have major consequences for Denmark,” Rasmussen said, referring to the Swedish measure.
“It can lead to more asylum seekers,” he told reporters in Copenhagen.
Rasmussen has sought to limit arrivals of migrants on Danish territory, and he had hinted that he would react strongly to the systematic checks announced by Sweden.
The Danish controls will initially be in place for 10 days, after which they may be extended.
“We are simply reacting to a decision made in Sweden. We are introducing temporary border controls but in a balanced way. This is not a happy moment at all,” Rasmussen said.
The refugee crisis has been a major point of contention between Sweden and Denmark. Sweden took in over 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, the highest proportion per capita in the European Union, while Denmark has received just 18,000.
Sweden on Monday began requiring all train, bus and ferry operators to check the photo identification of passengers travelling from Denmark after saying it could no longer cope with the flood of migrant arrivals.