PM Says Croatia to Respond "Clearly and Resolutely" if Russia Attacks Ukraine

By 19 January 2022
PM Says Croatia to Respond "Clearly and Resolutely" if Russia Attacks Ukraine
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ZAGREB, 19 Jan 2022 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday that Croatia would react "clearly and resolutely" if Russia attacked Ukraine.

Russia has caused concern in Kyiv and the West by amassing troops and equipment near the border with Ukraine and there are fears that it is preparing for an attack. Moscow denies this and says it has the right to deploy its troops on its territory any way it wants.

Speaking in the Croatian parliament, Plenković said that the situation in the east of Ukraine was very worrying and the tensest since 2014 and conflicts between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.

"Croatia does not want the situation to escalate and it will react clearly and resolutely to prevent any instability," the PM said without being more specific.

An EU member, Croatia is also a member of NATO which has warned Moscow a number of times that it will face serious consequences if it attacks Ukraine. On several occasions, Zagreb has offered Ukrainian authorities its experience in the peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region, which in the 1990s was under occupation by ethnic Serbs.

Submitting his annual report on meetings of the Council of the EU to the parliament, Plenković said that Croatia would raise the issue of people gone missing in the 1991-95 war as part of Serbia's EU accession talks.

"When the relevant policy chapters are put on the agenda, we will put the topic in the context of Serbia's further progress," he said.

He, added, however, that "it is not wise for a new member in a forum like the EU to block those who act slightly differently than we think they should."

Speaking of the most important topics of the Council of the EU meetings, Plenković cited the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the response to energy price increases and EU enlargement to the east, including the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He said that in 2021 Croatia made major progress on the path to membership of the Schengen area of passport-free travel and the euro area, noting that this time next year Croatians should be paying in euros in shops.