Friday, 12 April 2019

Defence Minister Meets with Philippine and Georgian Counterparts

ZAGREB, April 12, 2019 - Defence Minister Damir Krstičević on Thursday met with his counterparts, Delfin Lorenzana of the Philippines and Levan Izoria of Georgia, during the Adriatic Sea Defense & Aerospace Exhibition and Conference (ASDA) in Split.

Krstičević and the Philippine minister confirmed good and friendly relations between the two countries and they discussed the prospects of further intensifying bilateral defence cooperation and current global and regional security challenges, the ministry said in a press release.

Krstičević informed Lorenzana of the Croatian ministry's current activities through which Croatia contributes to NATO, the UN and the EU in maintaining global security.

They signed a memorandum of understanding on defence between the Philippines and Croatia, the press release said.

The talks with Georgian Minister Izoria pointed out good bilateral and friendly relations between these two countries and the two ministers expressed their wish for cooperation to continue. The ministers discussed the security situation and challenges in Southeast Europe and the South Caucasus as well as the continuation of cooperation in building Georgia's defence capability and preparations for full NATO membership.

Minister Krstičević welcomed Georgia's reforms that have been implemented in accordance with Euro-Atlantic aspirations and underscored that Croatia is open to cooperation with regard to transferring Croatia's experiences to Georgia on its pathway to NATO and the EU.

Minister Izoria thanked Croatia for its contribution in developing Georgia's defence capabilities with Georgian soldiers participating in NATO courses in English as well as officers' training in the field of intelligence. The ministers had the opportunity to meet to Georgian officers attending training courses in Croatia.

The two ministers signed a joint statement symbolising their dedication to strengthening the good bilateral relations.

The Philippine and Georgian delegations attending ASDA conducted meetings with several Croatian defence industry companies, the ministry said in its press release.

More defence sector news can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Croatian Reintegration Model Applicable to Ukraine and Georgia, Says Plenković

ZAGREB, February 17, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reiterated on Saturday that Croatia's experience with the peaceful reintegration of its Danube region in 1998 could benefit Ukraine and Georgia which have lost parts of their territories in wars with Russia.

Similar statements in the past have provoked sharply-worded responses from Moscow which believes that "parallel domestic structures" encourage Kiev's "war campaign" rather than call for the restoration of dialogue with Moscow through the Minsk process.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Plenković said that the experience of Ukraine and Georgia was comparable to that of Croatia, parts of whose territory were occupied by Serb insurgents backed by the Yugoslavia from 1990 to 1998.

"We had two solutions: a military solution and a diplomatic solution. The solution that relied on pressure and diplomacy resulted in the reintegration of our territory," Plenković said.

He said that this model could be applied to Ukraine and George, adding that the two countries would have fared better had they been members of the EU and NATO.

"Ukraine and Georgia are neither members of the EU nor of NATO and this complicates the situation. Had they been members, the situation would have been much different," said Plenković, who had formerly served as chief of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Ukraine.

The Ukrainian ministry for temporarily occupied territories and displaced persons said recently it was studying the Croatian model for the reintegration of its eastern Donbass region, controlled by Moscow-backed pro-Russian rebels since 2014.

Georgia, which fought a war with Russia in 2008, has been left without its breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and East Ossetia which depend on Moscow militarily and economically.

Croatia regained sovereignty over its Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem region in January 1998 after a UN transitional authority was established there in 1996.

More news on relations between Croatia and Russia can be found in the Politics section.