Thursday, 14 July 2022

Croatian FM: Entry Of Finland And Sweden Into NATO Reinforces Collective Defence

ZAGREB, 14 July 2022 - The adoption of the law on the ratification of the protocol for the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO is Croatia's contribution to the further strengthening of the alliance and collective defence, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said in the parliament on Thursday.

The foreign minister said in his address he hoped that the Sabor would be among the first ones to give its approval for this "historic enlargement".

On behalf of the government, the pertaining protocol adopted in Brussels on 5 July, was signed by Croatia's permanent representative to NATO, Mario Nobilo.

"Croatia actively participates in all policies and activities that contribute to the strengthening of the alliance and collective defence, and this law additionally supports the strengthening of NATO and our collective defence," Minister Grlić Radman told the lawmakers.

The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will help the alliance to strengthen its northern and eastern flanks, and will include the whole regions of Scandinavia and the Baltic in the alliance, he added.

Grlić Radman welcomed NATO's open door policy, saying that it contributed to peace and security in Europe.

Commenting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the minister said that it had changed the security environment and that the whole of Europe and the world were in a very sensitive and dangerous situation.

"In this extremely complex international political and economic situation, membership of NATO has become more important than ever before."

The Croatian government considers Russia's invasion as an attack on freedom of choice, on international law and on the entire European security structure. Therefore, the interest of Finland and Sweden to join the alliance is fully understandable, said the minister.

The protocols will become effective after the parliaments of all 30 NATO member states ratify them, which Finland and Sweden can expect a formal invitation to join the alliance.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Foreign Ministry Says Ambassador Will Obey It As To NATO Entry Of Finland, Sweden

ZAGREB, 12 May 2022 - The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Croatia's ambassador to NATO would obey its instructions in deciding on the admission of Finland and Sweden.

The ministry issued a statement after Minister Gordan Grlić Radman earlier today did not answer explicitly when asked by the press if the ambassador must obey the president or the ministry.

President Zoran Milanović wants Croatia to make the two countries' NATO accession conditional on changing the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the equality of Croats. Yesterday he said he would order Croatian Ambassador to NATO Mario Nobilo to veto enlargement if his condition was not met.

The government, on the other hand, supports the accession of Finland and Sweden unconditionally.

The permanent representative to NATO receives his instructions from the ministry, which is the usual procedure and will be so in this case also, the ministry said, adding that in the case of the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden, Nobilo will act in line with the ministry's instructions.

"He is in the service of protecting national interests, which are clear in this case. By enlarging NATO, we are strengthening our own security," the statement said.

For more, check out our politics section.