Sunday, 27 February 2022

Plenković: Ukraine is Independent, Sovereign State

ZAGREB, 26 Feb 2022 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Saturday extended solidarity with and support to the people of Ukraine, saying that it is an independent and sovereign state.

"Solidarity with and support to the Ukrainian people. Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state. Croatia is with you!" he said on Twitter, tagging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime minister Denys Shmyhal.

Earlier today Plenković met with members of the government, Civil Protection and the Red Cross in order to raise the level of preparedness regarding the reception of refugees from Ukraine.

For more on the Ukraine crisis and Croatia, as well as breaking news, follow our news section.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

First Croatian Volunteers Arrive to Join the Ukrainian Army

February 26, 2022 - The fighting continues in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made it clear that they will not lay down their arms. He also called for volunteers in Europe to join the defense of the country, and the first Croatian volunteers have reportedly arrived on Ukrainian soil.

Fighting has been going on in Ukraine for three days since Russia invaded to "carry out the demilitarization and denazification" of the neighboring country. And while Ukrainian forces are fighting fiercely in several cities, Croats will soon join them.

Today, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that they will not lay down their arms and the Ukrainian army will continue to contain the Russian invasion in Kyiv. Additionally, in a televised statement, he urged volunteers in Europe to join the fight, who would be given weapons.

The first Croatian volunteers are going to the battlefield in Ukraine to fight on the side of the Ukrainian army, Dnevnik Nova TV writes.

As they have reported, a larger group of volunteers should join the Ukrainian army in a few days, and they have military experience from before and are full of desire to help the Ukrainian army.

Croats are not the only ones who will help Ukraine. Numerous countries have announced they are sending weapons, but also financial aid. On the other hand, ordinary citizens have made it clear what they think of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to go to war.

Protests against the Russian invasion took place in many European cities this Saturday, especially many citizens at the protests in the countries bordering Russia. Solidarity with Ukraine has been expressed around the world. In Zagreb, hundreds demonstrated against the Russian aggression that has so far claimed the lives of nearly 4619 Ukrainians.

For more on the Ukraine crisis and Croatia, as well as breaking news, follow our news section.


Saturday, 26 February 2022

Tomašević: Zagreb Ready to Provide All Assistance to Ukrainian Refugees

February 26, 2022 - Today Interior Minister Davor Božinović announced the beginning of the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in Croatia, following the Russian invasion of their country. The mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević shared on his social networks that they will provide all the necessary assistance for them.

Being the third day since the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory began, neighboring countries begin to receive Ukrainian refugees at their borders. This is the case of Poland, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary, but also that of nearby countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic, all of whom, in addition to expressing their solidarity and condemning the Russian invasion, have confirmed their support in receiving and attending to the refugees. Although Ukraine does not belong to the European Union or the Schengen area, some of these countries maintain border agreements with Ukraine, and others have indicated that they will not require visas or permits to facilitate their entry.

The Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic stated today that several Ukrainian nationals have already arrived in Croatia and that the groundwork to make them comfortable and provide for their needs is now underway.

The news comes just after Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic took to Twitter to tweet that he has spoken with the government and with the Red Cross and that things were now fully underway to accept fleeing Ukrainian refugees.

The mayor of the Croatian capital of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević, has been the most recent authority to speak out on the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, and through a post on Facebook, he has expressed his solidarity, and also guaranteed his support and assistance for them.

''The City of Zagreb is ready to provide all possible assistance to refugees from Ukraine. We will make more locations available for the eventual reception of refugees, depending on their needs. This is the least we can do in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine and the human tragedy they are going through'', reads the post shared by Tomašević.

The mayor of Zagreb finished his post by condemning the Russian invasion in Ukraine: ''I strongly condemn the aggression against Ukraine, because of which many lives will be destroyed - the violence must stop so that the innocent do not continue to suffer''.

For more on the Ukraine crisis and Croatia, as well as breaking news, follow our news section.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Croatian Sberbank Clients Begin Withdrawing Cash Following Russia Sanctions

February the 26th, 2022 - Croatian Sberbank clients have begun withdrawing cash from their accounts held with the well known Russian bank following sanctions placed on the country as a result of its unjustified invasion of Ukraine.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, growing anxiety over sanctions against Russia and as such Russian banks, imposed by the West over the illegal invasion of Ukraine, sparked queues in front of Sberbank branches in the cities of Zagreb and Split on Friday as Croatian Sbernank clients waited to remove their money.

Fearing for their cash held in that bank, Croatian Sberbank clients began lining up to withdraw their money. The State Deposit Insurance Agency, under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, convened an emergency press conference, telling people that their savings are safe regardless of the current tragic events in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.

"I'd like to remind people about the deposit insurance system that has existed for more than 20 years now and that there's no reason to panic about deposits in any bank in that system, including those in Sberbank. Sberbank RH currently has slightly more than 69,952 clients, of which 69,858 clients are insured and protected,'' said the director of the Agency Marija Hrebac, noting that all deposits up to 100,000 euros are insured in case of a bank failure.

"Even if there were serious problems, theoretically, if all other systems failed, the Croatian deposit insurance system wouldn't fail and would certainly protect Croatia's financial stability. If the worst-case scenario occurs, we can pay off all Croatian Sberbank clients who have deposits of up to 100,000 held with Sberbank,'' said Hrebac, saying that there is approximately 3.8 billion kuna of insured savings in that Russian bank. She added that only about 80 clients are currently not protected, and they're primarily financial institutions.

"We have the funds at our disposal, if the worst-case scenario happens by chance, those who have saved with Sberbank will be able to access their funds, which they keep there," Hrebac emphasised. According to the Croatian National Bank (CNB/HNB), as of June the 30th, 2021, total deposits entrusted to Sberbank RH amounted to 9.5 billion kuna.

Sberbank itself previously said that they would continue to operate as usual. “Sberbank Croatia (RH) will be operating as usual, providing all products and services to all its clients. Sberbank Croatia is part of the Sberbank Europe Group - a European financial institution with a European banking license. We operate here on the local market, primarily at the service of Croatian Sberbank clients, under the regulation and supervision of the European Central Bank and the local Croatian National Bank,'' reads the statement on the website.

To briefly recall, back in November, the Russian Sberbank announced that it was withdrawing from the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The bank's operations here in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Hungary were sold to Miodrag Kostic's group, known and often referred to be regional media as the "Serbian sugar king". The sale was agreed between Sberbank Europe on the one hand, and Belgrade's AIK Bank, Gorenjska Bank from Kranj and AEC Ltd. on the other.

The value of the transaction is unofficially estimated at 500m euros, and its completion and formal completion is expected later this year, provided regulators give the green light for it.

"Sberbank Europe AG has decided to reduce its geographical presence in the CEE region in order to focus on key markets," said the then-largest Russian bank, which has been under sanctions since 2014 over the Russian annexation of Crimea.

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