NATO Secretary General Visits Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 9, 2018 – Croatia is a highly respected NATO ally, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after his meeting with Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević in Zagreb on Monday, commending the Croatian Army for participating in international peace missions and operations.

Krstičević and Stoltenberg talked about topical issues and challenges in the context of the adjustment to the existing security challenges, according to a statement issued by the Defence Ministry.

Croatia is highly respected NATO ally and I am glad that I am in Croatia, Stoltenberg told a joint news conference. He commended the Croatian Army for participating in international peace missions and operations, notably in activities aimed at boosting NATO’s presence in Lithuania and Poland and in the NATO-led Sea Guardian operation.

Krstičević expressed satisfaction with Stoltenberg’s visit to Croatia, immediately after a regular meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.

He, too, said Croatia was a responsible NATO member which increased the amount of budgetary funds earmarked for the defence, adding that in the future even more money would be allocated for this purpose.

As part of his visit to Croatia, Stoltenberg also held talks with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Last week’s cyber attack by Russia on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) are serious as they are part of the seen pattern, the visiting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Zagreb on Monday.

Last week, a few Western countries claimed that Russia should be held responsible for a series of cyber attacks of global scope, including a hacking operation by Russian secret service against OPWC.

We can see how Russia makes use of hybrid tactics, including cyber attacks, in a bid to interfere in democratic processes in a series of countries, including NATO member-states and in a bid to attack international institutions, said Stoltenberg in Zagreb.

The example of last week is serious as it is part of the pattern. We have already seen similar attacks by the Russians, he added.

According to Stoltenberg, in response to such actions by Russia, NATO is intensively investing in the cyber preparedness within the largest adaptation of the Alliance since WW2, and Croatia is taking part in that process.

During his stay in Zagreb, Stoltenberg congratulated Croatia on its Day of Independence, observed on 8 October. He also praised Croatia for its engagement in joint operations and exercises and on its decision to increase the budget allocation for defence to 2%.

Prime Minister Plenković said that the government was continuously investing in the Croatian Army’s preparedness, and currently the allocation stands at 1.30% of its budget, rising by 1.15% in comparison to the situation two years ago.

Plenković and Stoltenberg discussed the situation in the region, including the latest developments in Macedonia, the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina held on Sunday and rising tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.

Stoltenberg arrived in Zagreb on Monday afternoon after visiting the Serbian capital of Belgrade. In Serbia, Stoltenberg attended the civil emergency exercise ‘Srbija 2018’ in which NATO troops were also engaged.

Stoltenberg said that NATO allies and partners in the region showed that they were ready to cooperate in the fight against natural disasters.

Joint exercises can also defuse tensions and help shun conflicts, the NATO Secretary-General said.


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