Croatia will take part in NATO activities in the Baltic region.
Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević announced in Brussels that one company of Croatian soldiers would be sent to Lithuania in 2018, as part of a strategy to strengthen NATO forces in the Baltic region, reports Jutarnji List on October 27, 2016.
After his first meeting of NATO defence ministers, Krstičević said to reporters that the new Croatian government’s foreign policy priorities would be Bosnia and Herzegovina and the stronger positioning of Croatia within the European Union and NATO.
“One of the most important conclusions is to strengthen the Alliance in the east”, said Krstičević, adding that Croatia had decided to send a company of the Croatian Army to Lithuania in 2018, as part of a German battle group, and that the mission was currently in the preparatory phase.
The ministers have discussed the situation in the Mediterranean region and NATO activities on the Alliance’s southern borders. “I can say that NATO will launch a new operation called Sea Guardian, in order to increase security in the Mediterranean area. This will help European efforts to prevent human trafficking in the Mediterranean. We have also discussed better cooperation between NATO and the European Union, especially in the area of defence and security policies”, he added. Asked if Croatia would take part in that NATO military operation as well, Defence Minister Krstičević said that the final decision was still under consideration.
Talking about the concept of homeland security, Minister Krstičević said that the current national security strategy was adopted in 2002 and that it was now necessary to draft a new document, which would show how Croatia would respond to any new threats.
“Our plan is to finish the draft of the document by the spring of next year”, he said, adding that it was expected that the document would be debated by Parliament in June or July next year.