Friday, 14 May 2021

President Zoran Milanović For Seeing to Croatian Interests When Sending Troops To international Missions

ZAGREB, 14 May, 2021 - President and Armed Forces Supreme Commander Zoran Milanović said on Friday that Croatian interests would always be taken into account when sending Croatian troops into international missions.

The Croatian army is the modern army of a democratic state, a state of equal citizens, which participates in international missions, Milanović said in Petrinja at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the 2nd Guard Brigade Gromovi.

"You too will participate in international missions. In deciding where, when and in what composition we will go, we will take account of first and foremost protecting Croatian interests," he said.

Croatian troops will go into those international missions where they can learn, work on themselves and build their careers, he added, "where we won't meddle too much in others' conflicts and others' quarrels."

To the soldiers sworn in at Petrinja today, Milanović said that as soldiers and professionals they should work on their physical fitness, knowledge and education every day.

"We see how wars are waged today, how the world is stirring and what changes are taking place in front of us. This is not an ordinary time and we must always be adapted to this time, taking account of knowing clearly what our interests are, how far we can go, what we can't pass over and how much we can set aside for that."

In that sense, Milanović said, the Croatian army must be properly equipped.

Defence Minister Mario Banožić said 203 Gromovi members were killed in the Homeland War's operations Storm, Flash, Maslenica, Una and others, while five were unaccounted for and 1,200 were wounded.

Despite that, nothing could stop their courage and heart, he added, announcing the modernisation and development of the military.

For more about the army in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić Says Croatia Trying To Humiliate Serbia With Participation in Kosovo Force

ZAGREB, 7 May, 2021- Serbia wants to have good and fair relations with all neighbouring countries but Croatia's actions and statements by its officials are not expressions of respect for Serbia but an attempt to humiliate it, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Friday.

In a comment on the statement by Croatia's foreign minister that Croatia would increase the number of its troops in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) because that was important for maintaining peace in the region and on disputes triggered by Serbian Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin's statements, Vučić said that Croatia could have refused to serve in KFOR but opted to do the contrary "in order to additionally humiliate Serbia."

Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Ministry stated earlier in the day that Serbia's strong reaction to the planned deployment of a greater number of Croatian troops in Kosovo was "a hysterical speculation" intended to divert attention from the introduction of the Bunjevci dialect as an official language in the northern Serbian town of Subotica, which it considers an attempt to fragment the Croat community in Serbia.

The Serbian president today wondered "why anyone would need to participate in the KFOR mission or brag about it", alluding to Croatia's involvement in the international peace mission.

"They could have refused to take part in KFOR, but they intentionally made that decision to additionally humiliate Serbia. We get the message," Vučić told Serbian reporters during a visit to Obrenovac.

In a message to Serbs in Kosovo, he said that they "should not worry" and that he would soon talk with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, stressing Serbia's commitment to avoid conflicts and maintain peace.

"My message to all those who think that there will be new Storms, new pogroms and expulsions - I guarantee that that will not happen," Vučić said in reference to the 1995 Croatian military and police operation that liberated areas previously held by local Serbs who rebelled against the Croatian authorities.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 7 May 2021

DEFENDER-Europe-21: Zadar Doing Its Part in Large NATO Exercise

May 7, 2021 - As part of NATO, Croatia participates in a large military exercise called DEFENDER-Europe-21, and UK and US navy ships arrived in Zadar with valuable equipment to be distributed among training areas in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Large-scale, multinational, and army-lead, DEFENDER-Europe is a joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between the U.S., NATO, and partner militaries. This year's edition DEFENDER-Europe-21, as reported by U.S. Army Europe and Africa website, focuses on „Building operational readiness and interoperability with a greater number of NATO allies and partners over a wider area of operations is defensive in nature and focused on responding to the crisis if necessary“, and also shows that „the U.S. commitment to NATO is ironclad.“

The exercise also includes strict COVID prevention and mitigation measures, such as pre-deployment COVID testing and quarantining and the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy show significant involvement and will utilize key ground and maritime routes bridging Europe, Asia, and Africa – continues the website.

„Exercises new high-end capabilities such the new U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Brigades, air, and missile defense assets and the recently reactivated V Corps and demonstrates our ability to serve as a strategic security partner in the western Balkans and the Black Sea regions while sustaining our abilities in northern Europe, the Caucasus, Ukraine, and Africa“, adds the exercise goals the official U.S. Army website.

Apart from the U.S., Approximately 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations conduct nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in 12 countries, and as a NATO member, Croatia has not been left out of the drill.

U.S._Naval_Ship_Yuma_arrives_in_Zadar_Croatia_Sgt._Alexandra_Shea.jpg

U.S. Naval Ship Yuma arrives in Zadar, Croatia © Sgt. Alexandra Shea

As part of the exercise, U.S. Naval Ship Yuma and U.K. Vessel Hurst Point off-loaded more than 300 pieces of military equipment in Zadar, Croatia’s Gazenica port, after ferrying it from Durres in Albania. The delivery started on Tuesday, May 4, and it was concluded on Friday. The journey of the equipment started back on March 24 at the Port of Jacksonville in Florida. The local U.S. National Guard units were shipping the equipment for three days onto USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR 300) after which, the ship stopped by Portsmouth in Virginia for the final pieces of equipment before heading towards Durres in Albania. In Durres, the smaller vessels took the equipment and finally loaded it to Yuma, and Hurst Point, which brought it to the gem of Northern Dalmatia, Zadar.

„This process is called Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, a method used to ensure swift delivery of supplies and equipment in a variety of port situations“, explained the press release.

U.S._equipment_leaves_for_training_area-c-Sgt._Joshua_Oh.jpgU.S. equipment leaves for training area © Sgt. Joshua Oh 

While many would probably stop at Zadar and chill for a lovely holiday, the equipment, however, will continue its journey. Part of the equipment will remain in Croatia, but it will be transferred to Slunj, home of the Main Training Area, and the rest goes to training areas scattered in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In BiH, the drills and maneuvers for which the equipment will be used are under the umbrella of the linked exercise named "Immediate Response 21” which will culminate in a joint, multinational live-fire demonstration called “Croatian Rampart 1991-2021” at the end of May. Not just as a test of possibility in the „God-forbid-we-are-attacked“ scenario, Croatian Rampart 1991-2021“ also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Croatia Armed Forces.

The Main Training Area in Slunj, Croatia and training areas throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to be used in drills and maneuvers alongside members of the Croatian Armed Forces, under the umbrella of the linked exercise named "Immediate Response 21.” The exercise culminates in a joint, multinational live-fire demonstration called “Croatian Rampart 1991-2021” - which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Armed Forces at the end of May.

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British Major Dan Cornwell talking to Croatian press, screenshot / Defense Flash News

British Major Dan Cornwell told the Croatian press that the idea of being in Zadar is that Croatian, U.K., and U.S. forces operate together in loading U.S. equipment and personnel.

„We've done this before, on exercise last year in Germany, and I can say, it's a lot better down here in the south, it's absolutely amazing to be here in Croatia to do this alongside Croatian Armed Forces where we can better understand how we operate differently, how we operate similarly and equally building up our interoperability and our ability to operate better in the future“, said Maj. Cornwell, indicating that perhaps he can find Zadar, like many others, as a great holiday destination and not just the line of duty.

Learn more about Zadar on our TC page.

For more about the army in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Defence Minister Mario Banožić Meets With Hungarian Ambassador Csaba Demcsák

ZAGREB, 5 May, 2021 - Defence Minister Mario Banožić on Wednesday met Hungary's incoming Ambassador to Croatia, Csaba Demcsák, expressing satisfaction with Croatian-Hungarian friendly relations.

"Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the long-lasting friendly relations between the two countries while Minister Banožić said that the two countries have developed excellent bilateral military cooperation," a press release from the defence ministry notes.

Banožić spoke about Croatian-Hungarian cooperation within the RACVIAC centre for security cooperation and the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) and at the Multinational Division Command Centre in Hungary, established jointly by Hungary and Croatia, as well as about their cooperation in the EU and NATO.

Ambassador Demcsák presented Hungary's current defence policy, underlining that he believes in the continuation of the two countries' good cooperation, the ministry's press release notes.

For more about diplomacy in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 23 April 2021

Commander of U.S. Air Forces For Europe, Africa Visits Croatia

ZAGREB, 23 April, 2021 - General Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa and of Allied Air Command, visited Croatia on Thursday, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.

Harrigian met with the ministry state secretary, Zdravko Jakop, the director of the Croatian Armed Forces General Staff, Major General Ivica Olujić, and the commander of the Croatian Air Force, Brigadier General Michael Križanec.

They discussed the development of bilateral cooperation in defence and Agile Combat Employment, which is based on interoperability, as well as agreements regulating access to the Allied infrastructure and air space.

The Croatian Army, as an active NATO member, is participating in many international military exercises and activities which enhance the common capabilities and intensify cooperation between the member states, including the DEFENDER-Europe 21 and Astral Knight 21 exercises.

Jakop thanked the U.S. for donations and training assistance, saying that the bilateral relations were developed and that the U.S. "is the most important strategic partner in global security building."

Harrigian said he was looking forward to joint participation in Astral Knight, an exercise taking place in Croatia which, he said, offers an exceptional opportunity to train with some of the strongest allies.

Križanec underlined the importance of joint participation in international military exercises and activities this year, including  Adriatic Strike 21, Astral Knight 21 and Immediate Response 21.

Air forces, owing to rapid action and deployment in an exceptionally wide operations area, play a significant role in supporting deterrence as a key element of NATO's collective defence, he said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Friends of Croatia: New TCN Series On All Things Diplomatic

April 20, 2021 - Check out the newest TCN series "Friends of Croatia", dealing with all things diplomatic, by TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac

December 22, 1990, the Croatian parliament known as Sabor brought its first independent constitution, known as „The Christmas Constitution“. After that, the same parliament officially declared Croatia as an independent country and no longer part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991. Then followed the Ex-Yu War known in Croatia as a Homeland War, which lasted until 1995.

While this war is one of the foundations of Croatian independence, noted by the modern constitution as well as on other grounds of historic events, the dedication of soldiers, tactics, weapons, force and combat skills weren't the only cards Croatia had to achieve its sovereignty. It was also the communication with the international community and international recognition. This allowed Croatian citizens to not end up in the trap of Transnistria, a sovereign state officially recognized as part of Moldova, where Moldova does not rule due to the army and force monopoly by the Transnistrian government, but whose passports have no benefit for its citizens and despite being a state, in official maps does not exist.

Iceland was the first sovereign country to recognize Croatia as a sovereign state on December 19, 1991, followed by Germany in whose recognition took effect on January 15, 1992. Slovenia technically did recognise Croatia first, the same as Croatia was the first to recognise Slovenia, but neither country had international recognition at the time, which is the reason Iceland counts first. Floored by Iceland and Germany, other countries started to recognize Croatia and the new-found Republic joined the UN on May 22, 1992. The international status was then additionally boosted with joining Nato on April 1, 2009, and the EU on July 1, 2013.

Today, Croatia has 176 diplomatic relations; and for TCN writers, reporting on diplomacy is nothing new. Diplomatic relations can be viewed, in layman terms, like friendships, and this is why this series is called „Friends of Croatia“. As stated by the E-International relations site, diplomacy has existed as long as the human race. It can be viewed in the first negotiations amongst individuals before graduating to the level we know today.

„Among the many functions of diplomacy, some include preventing war and violence and fortifying relations between two nations. Diplomacy is most importantly used to complete a specific agenda. Therefore without diplomacy, much of the world’s affairs would be abolished, international organizations would not exist, and above all, the world would be in a constant state of war. It is for diplomacy that certain countries can exist in harmony“, writes the E-International relations site.

And indeed, shutting down diplomatic relations is a final step before potential war escalation and the spread of violence. Even with certain diplomatic tensions, Croatia has with Slovenia around Piranski Bay, or with Serbia regarding uncleared questions from the Homeland War, the fact there are diplomatic relations both with Serbia and Slovenia ensures that these tensions can be solved by peace and not violence.

But what exactly are the details of Croatian diplomatic relations with other countries and international organizations? This is precisely what this series strives to bring by explaining the history of Croatian diplomatic relations by talking to diplomats, embassies, and representers of international communities, with an informative, unique approach to each specific relation. The series wants to inform of the ups and downs of Croatian international collaboration, how to make them better, what benefits are there in these relations for Croatia, and what benefits are there for other countries. Keep your eyes open for articles in these series with more details and interesting facts about diplomacy in general too.

If you are working in the embassy or in an international organization in Croatia, feel free to reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Defence Minister Mario Banožić: Croatia is NATO's Trustworthy and Reliable Partner

ZAGREB, 1 April, 2021 - On the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Croatia's admission to NATO, Defence Minister Mario Banožić stated on Thursday that his country proved to be a trustworthy and reliable ally and partner.

"Over these 12 years since it became a full member of NATO, Croatia has proven to be a trustworthy and reliable ally and partner," the minister said in his message on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Croatia's entry into the alliance.

Croatia participates actively and on an equal footing in the alliance's decision-making and its troops, together with troops from other member states, contribute to peace-building efforts worldwide, the minister said.

He recalled that membership of NATO was one of the two most important objectives in Croatia's foreign policy.

 "Croatia has thus become part of the strongest military and political alliance in the history of humankind. Therefore, Croatia's security and stability is guaranteed not only by its own army but also by the armed forces of friendly countries from the NATO alliance," Banožić said recalling that the journey to the full membership had been difficult and demanding after Croatia had won the war which had been imposed on it and after it had to develop its own armed forces.

 For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Defence Ministry: Faults on Helicopters Removed or Being Repaired

ZAGREB, July 23, 2020 - The faults found on two Croatian helicopters participating in the NATO mission in Kosovo have been removed or are being repaired and have not affected the operational capability of the Croatian Air Force or the continuity of the NATO operation, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

"All the faults have been removed or are being repaired and have not affected the operational capability of the Croatian Air Force or the continuity of the NATO operation," the ministry said in response to a query from Hina after the commercial television channel Nova TV reported that two helicopters had been found in May to be faulty.

The ministry said that only minor faults had been found on the helicopters. One has been repaired in the meantime and is in operational use, while the other is expected to be operational later this week.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Djakovo Company Awarded NATO Certificate

ZAGREB, June 24, 2020 - The HEMCO company from the eastern town of Djakovo has been awarded an Allied Quality Assurance Publications (AQAP) quality management certificate, which was presented to company officials on Wednesday by Assistant Defence Minister Roman Mikulic.

Mikulic said the certificate meant that the company was entering the NATO family and expressed hope it would also be manufacturing equipment for NATO member-countries' forces in the future.

"Products of Croatian companies that produce equipment for the Croatian Army are all of top quality. The Defence Ministry and the Croatian Army strongly support the Croatian defense industry because we believe that our army is as strong as is our defense industry," said Mikulic.

HEMCO was established 28 years ago and employs more than 150 workers.

It manufactures combat uniforms, uniforms for pilots and tank squads, official uniforms and workwear, and safetywear.

(Hina) rml

Saturday, 14 December 2019

Croatian Scientist Creates Bomb Detector, NATO Provides Funding

When Croatian scientist Dr. Ivana Capan first announced back in the autumn of 2016 that she would develop the prototype of a sophisticated nuclear material control detector with an international team of collaborators, it sounded like an optimistic vision and not much more. We couldn't have been more wrong.

As Novac/Tanja Rudez writes on the 13th of December, 2019, three years later, Dr. Ivana Capan of the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), fulfilled her promise and recently presented a detector for cargo control and the discovery of special nuclear materials for seaports at a press conference.

This sophisticated silicon carbide-based neutron detector was developed as part of the E-SiCURE project, one of the largest projects in NATO's Science for Peace and Security programme in Croatia. As the head of the 400,000 euro E-SiCURE project, this Croatian scientist assembled a respectable international team of scientists from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, from the Aveiro University of Portugal, from Japan's National Institute of Quantum and Radiological Sciences and Technology, and from the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

''As I deal with semiconductors that are the basis of microelectronics and electronics, I'm interested in concrete applications. I was thinking about how to find a small niche where we'd have enough knowledge on it, and this would not require some sophisticated equipment, so I decided to research silicon carbide material. It's an excellent material and is currently being produced in maximum quantities in Japan. As I have colleagues in Japan, they've been my ideal partners. So, we started gathering one consortium that covers everything from material research right up to the finished device. Because our device has a security component, NATO was a logical choice as a source of funding to support such a consortium,'' this innovative Croatian scientist recalled.

She also stressed that everything evolved rapidly: from the very first contact between the members of the consortium to the start of work on the E-SiCURE project (Modifying silicon carbide for enhanced security at borders and ports). Of the 396,500 euros, which is how much this project is worth, as much as 31 percent of the funds have now arrived where they need to be in Croatia.

''Current neutron detectors are mainly based on He-3, a naturally occurring helium isotope. The helium isotope used until recently is a legacy of the Cold War, and its supplies are projected to be completely consumed in the next ten years. Therefore, scientists are trying to find quality new materials for detector development,'' said Dr. Capan, adding that the idea was to make an inexpensive neutron detector that would be easy to use.

''For the past three years, we've devoted ourselves to seeing if we can make such a detector at all. And we did it: the whole system is complete, and it's simple - plug it into a laptop and see the signal right away.

Our detector is one to four square millimetres in size. With it, for example, we can detect neutrons from so-called ''dirty'' nuclear bombs. This makes this detector specific and harder to create. We're now working on its further development and we've already signed up for the continuation of the project, in NATO, too. The results of the tender will be announced early next year,'' said Dr. Capan.

One end user of this very sophisticated device could be Croatia's own customs administration, but so far, only the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment, more specifically the Nuclear Safety Administration, has shown interest.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

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