“Corrections” Expected Concerning Putin’s Visit to Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 28, 2018 – The Russian Embassy in Zagreb said on Tuesday evening that, after Croatia took “a hostile step” by expelling a Russian diplomat, it was very likely that some changes would be made in connection with President Vladimir Putin’s planned visit to the country, the Croatian national broadcaster HRT reported on Tuesday evening.

“With regard to a hostile step taken by Croatia towards Russia, certain corrections will likely be made concerning President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Croatia,” the embassy said in response to a query from the HRT.

On Monday evening, the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister presented the Russian diplomatic mission in Zagreb with a note on the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Croatia. Croatia is one of the 18 European Union member states which, together with the United States, are expelling Russian diplomats in a coordinated response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.

The Croatian ministry said that, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, Article 9, a recipient state can at any point, without an explanation, notify a sending state that a certain member of the diplomatic staff has become persona non grata.

Following such developments, the Russian embassy in Croatia on Monday evening expressed regret over the Croatian government’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the UK, describing its decision as an act of hostility.

The Russian Embassy said it deeply regretted that Croatia, in a show of bloc solidarity with certain EU and NATO countries, had made a hasty and ill-judged decision whose consequences would have a negative impact on the development of the two countries’ relations, including their trade and economic cooperation.

Earlier on Tuesday, Croatian President Grabar-Kitarović said her invitation to Russian President Putin to visit Croatia still stands. It is very important to nurture economic and overall relations with the Russian Federation, as the European Union too has such a two-track approach, insisting on respect for international law as well as on the continuation of talks, as disputes can only be solved through dialogue, not conflict, she said.

Russia is a player in Southeast Europe, a member of the Peace Implementation Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there are many topics we can and must continue to talk about with the Russian Federation, the president added.

Asked about possible counter-measures after Croatia decided to declare one Russian diplomat persona non grata, Grabar-Kitarović said the question should be put to Ambassador Anvar Azimov or someone from the Russian Embassy to Croatia.


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