President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is taking part in the international security conference in Munich.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović met in Munich on Saturday with US Vice-President Mike Pence and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reports Večernji List on February 18, 2017.
“I have met US Vice President Pence. I am pleased that we share the enthusiasm about working for the benefit of our countries and strong ties between Croatia and the United States”, wrote Grabar-Kitarović on Twitter. “We met briefly and exchanged a few constructive sentences. We have agreed on further cooperation. We have discussed further partnership between Croatia and the United States and I was very pleasantly surprised by his very open position. We will certainly continue to talk. I have also talked with a number of other US officials, and tomorrow I will continue with congressmen and senators”, said the President to Croatian media.
President Grabar-Kitarović also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with whom she held a longer, more formal meeting. “The meeting with Sergei Lavrov was very constructive and cordial. We have covered a number of bilateral issues, including the economy. We talked about some of our companies which unfortunately had a negative experience recently and we have agreed how to work it out. I am pleased that our new ambassador to Russia has received the approval and that we will turn a new page in our relationship. There are plans for a visit by the Russian Foreign Minister, as that was also one of the topics. I mentioned the issue of the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, and we have agreed that we will on both sides take action to resolve the issue of air pollution. In particular, we have discussed the Southeast Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia. We have agreed on the next steps for cooperation. Russian Federation certainly has influence in Southeast Europe and I would like for Croatia to be one of interlocutors with whom it will talk about support and development of societies and peace in Southeast Europe”, said Grabar-Kitarović.
Asked whether Lavrov objected to President’s comments on Russian influence, Grabar-Kitarović said that he highly appreciates honesty. “For years, we have a very good and constructive relationship. My position on Russia has always been the same. I spoke about the Russian influence in European countries, and I expect the continuation of this constructive dialogue and mutual respect”, said the President.
At the Munich Security Conference, the President also met with President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis, President of Poland Andrzej Duda, President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.