Croatian President Says Sanctions Against Russia Necessary

By 25 February 2022
Croatian President Says Sanctions Against Russia Necessary
Ivica Galovic/PIXSELL

ZAGREB, 25 Feb 2022 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Friday that he supported the sanctions which the EU had decided to impose on Russia over its aggression on Ukraine, explaining that there was no other alternative, however, he does not believe that the sanctions will be efficient.

The sanctions are necessary, no other alternative has existed, he told a news conference, and then added that "unfortunately, sanctions do not work" and will not stop the Russian army from continuing to invade Ukraine.

After a month ago he stated that the crisis in Ukraine "is happening in the antechamber of Russia" and that "one must reach a deal that will take account of the security interests of Russia," which was interpreted as Milanović's understanding for Russia's demand that Ukraine should not apply for the membership of NATO, Milanović today said that Ukraine in NATO "is not a topic".

Had that been made clear in the past, perhaps, the situation would have been better now, however, all that is not the justification for Russia's aggression, he said.

Developments in Ukraine serious but not dangerous for Croatia

Concerning the interests of Croatia, the president said that the situation in Ukraine was serious but not dangerous for his country.

"This is an unpleasant situation, but you can stay calm," Milanović said at the news conference.

Concerning the proposal of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for convening a meeting of the Croatian Council for National Security on Friday before Milanović took part in the video summit meeting of NATO so as to inform the president about the relevant topics, Milanović said that one should wait for a few more days and see how the situation could unfold. Therefore he said that the session of the council could be later held.

"I do not need instructions before the (NATO) meeting. He (Plenković) and I are in permanent contact, and it is sufficient for the time being," Milanović said.

Milanović also said that for him the alliance's decision to schedule a video summit meeting does not show the necessary level of seriousness and insisted that NATO should have organised a face-to-face meeting in Brussels.