Russia Cancels Economic Forum with Croatia

By 28 November 2016

Relations between Croatia and Russia are getting worse.

Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Croatia Anvar Azimov confirmed on Monday that the Croatian-Russian economic forum has been cancelled, reports N1 on November 28, 2016.

“I have a very difficult task. I love Croatia and I deeply respect Croatia, and we will not forget that for more than 50 years Russia and the Soviet Union were one of the major players in Yugoslavia. However, I am deeply concerned for the future of Croatian-Russian relations. My task, as an ambassador, is to minimize any consequences”, said Azimov.

“It is no secret that trade in goods with Croatia has decreased by nearly 50 percent. That is a disaster. First of all, Croatian exporters and farmers are suffering. Croatian-Russian economic forum was supposed to be held in November. However, Russian entrepreneurs are very patriotic. They do not support the regime of sanctions. They do not agree with the fact that Croatia supports these sanctions. That is why Russian entrepreneurs were not interested to come to Croatia. And that is the reason why Croatian-Russian economic forum did not take place”, continued the Ambassador.

“I am trying to do so everything I can so that the events which have happened between Russia and Croatia do not affect the Russian-Croatian economic relations. Every time someone tried to offend Russia, we responded. We have put limits in order to reduce exports from those countries which have offended Russia. That is the reason why I believe there can be difficulties in the Russian-Croatian relations”, said Azimov

“I have already sent a letter to Moscow, writing that it was not the right decision to reduce exports from Croatia. The recent statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not very strong. To this day, no one has invested more in the Croatian economy than the Soviet Union and Russia. We have invested more than 17 billion euros. We were the main partner and we see as our goal an attempt to bring Russian-Croatian relations out of the current crisis, so that no political factor can affect them”, said the Russian ambassador.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced last week that it was concerned about recent statements made by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Kiev that Croatia was ready to convey to Ukraine its own experiences with peaceful reintegration of occupied territories, which would be applicable to areas of eastern Ukraine where government forces are fighting with pro-Russian rebels.