Over 30 years have passed and it’s good to repeat some truths. You were young men then and stood up in the defence of your homeland without weapons, without the organisation the other side had, and Croatia armed itself without anyone’s help, said Milanović, addressing representatives of the Croatian Armed Forces and guests at the ceremony at the office of the president.
We freed ourselves, that is, you freed us, no one encouraged us or helped us, Croatia was defended by a very small number of good people, he said. The Croatian army made it possible to restore peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and only then NATO bombers, Milanović said. He noted they had not been properly rewarded for that and that Croatia had waited for years to become a member of NATO and the EU.
This was a year of good and important purchases in the Croatian Armed Forces and that has to be welcomed. However, we must know that defence systems are expensive, and so is their maintenance, so we must maintain a balance, he said, stressing one must think long-term.
The president presented members of the Armed Forces and former members of the Frankopan Battalion with decorations, ranks and commendations.