ZAGREB, January 15, 2019 – Croatia is observing today the 27th anniversary of international recognition. On 15 January 1992, Croatia’s independence was recognised by the then member states of the European Union.
On 15 January 1992, Croatia was in the midst of the Homeland War and nearly one third of the country was occupied by the former Yugoslav army and Serb insurgents. Croatia’s then president Franjo Tuđman told his associates that evening: “We have created the internationally recognised Croatia. Let’s celebrate tonight and then roll up our sleeves and build a new democratic state.”
Croatia’s international recognition followed after it declared independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991. On the same day, Slovenia too declared its independence from Yugoslavia and the next day the two newly- created states recognised each other.
At that time, the Soviet Union was disintegrating too and although they were not internationally recognised yet, several of its former countries recognised Croatia during 1991 – Lithuania on July 30, Ukraine on December 11, Latvia on December 14 and Estonia on December 31.
Iceland was the first internationally recognised state that recognised Croatia, on 15 December 1991, followed by Germany on the same day, although it decided that its recognition would go into force on 15 January 1992, together with the other EU member states.
On January 13, Croatia was recognised by the Holy See, which had announced that it would recognise Croatia and Slovenia the previous December 20. On January 14, Croatia was recognised by San Marino.
After being recognised by the EU on 15 January 1992, Croatia was recognised on the same day by Great Britain, Denmark, Malta, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg and Greece. On January 16, Croatia was recognised by Argentina, Australia, the Czech Republic, Chile, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden and Uruguay.
By the end of that January, Croatia was recognised by Finland, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Russia recognised Croatia on 17 February 1992, Japan did so on March 17, the US on April 7, Israel on April 16, although diplomatic relations were established five and a half years later, and China on April 27.
The first Asian country that recognised Croatia was Iran on 15 March 1992, while Egypt was the first African country on 16 April 1992.
On 22 May 1992, Croatia joined the UN.
More news on Croatia’s history can be found in the Politics section.