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  • Security staff check a traveler's identification at Kastrups train station outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Security staff check a traveler's identification at Kastrups train station outside Copenhagen, Denmark. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 January 2016

For the first time in over six decades, travelers crossing between Sweden and Denmark will be forced to undergo ID checks.

Denmark hit out at neighboring Sweden over controversial border control measures, as both countries seek to crack down on migrant and refugee crossings Monday.

For the first time in more than six decades, Sweden has enforced mandatory photo ID checks on its border with Denmark.

Critics have argued the measure will cause chaos for the tens of thousands of commuters that cross between the two countries each day.

The checks are expected to almost double the travel time between Copenhagen and Sweden by rail, with Danish transport minister Hans Christian Schmidt describing the inspection of passengers as “extremely annoying.”

Denmark's prime minister Lars Loekke went further, stating the border controls are a “major step backwards.”

He warned ID checks will create “difficulty and problems for the many people who every day commute” between the two countries.

However, just hours after the Swedish measures came into force, Denmark introduced its own new measures on its border with Germany.

The measures include spot checks of random commuters, but wont include mandatory ID checks for all travelers.

“We are introducing temporary border controls, but in a balanced way,” Loekke stated.

Both Sweden and Denmark have received international criticism for cracking down on refugees and migrants.

Last year, Loekke's government proposed seizing jewelry from refugees seeking to enter Denmark.

Europe is currently facing its largest influx of refugees and migrants in decades, with hundreds of thousands of displaced people moving through the Balkans and crossing the Mediterranean to escape conflict in countries such as Syria.

Global refugee levels are now at their highest point since the aftermath of World War II, and European nations have been divided over how to handle the influx of refugees and migrants and have largely refused to acknowledge their responsibility for the conditions which create migrants and refugees in the first place.

ANALYSIS: How Europe Created Its Own Refugee Crisis

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