Krstičević Meets with US Acting Secretary of Defence

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 28, 2019 – Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević met with US Acting Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on the margins of a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on Thursday, the Defence Ministry said.

The two officials reaffirmed the excellent cooperation between Croatia and the United States and discussed further cooperation in developing the defence capabilities and interoperability of the two countries’ armed forces.

“The United States is Croatia’s key strategic partner and ally in defence and security,” Krstičević said.

Krstičević also met with Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis, reaffirming the excellent defence cooperation with the two countries, notably with regard to the participation of Croatian troops in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission.

He also met with his Montenegrin counterpart Predrag Bošković, with whom he discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

On Wednesday and Thursday, NATO’s defence ministers discussed defence allocations, collective defence, the use of new technologies and the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a report that defence spending for 2019 by the European allies and Canada would be 3.9 percent higher than five years ago. He said that good progress had been made and that this should continue.

NATO insists that the member states allocate 2 percent of their GDP for defence. “Croatia is currently at 1.75 percent and we want to reach 2 percent,” Krstičević said.

The ministers also discussed NATO’s modernisation, including in deterrence and defence, and the alliance for the first time adopted a space policy.

Krstičević said that the meeting was taking place after NATO celebrated 70 years of its existence and Croatia marked 10 years since joining the world’s most powerful military alliance.

He said that Croatia and other allies were investing in the development of new technologies and new capabilities. “This year Croatia is forming new commands – Cyber Command and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Command,” he added.

More news about NATO can be found in the Politics section.


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