“Croatia’s basic position is respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Plenković said in reference to the Ukraine crisis.
Following all our experience, we give priority to diplomacy and peaceful conflict resolution, de-escalation, and cooperation with our partners within the European Union and NATO, the PM said.
The four-way Normandy format peace talks are taking place today in Paris. The entire international community, from the USA to NATO and the European Union, and all the leaders, want peace. No one wants conflicts, the premier told a news conference.
Last December, Plenković paid a visit to Ukraine and offered Kyiv Croatia’s experience of peaceful reintegration of occupied areas, and Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Russia last week.
Plenković said today that his cabinet’s policy is to continue fostering friendly relations and partnerships with Ukraine and to develop normal relations with Russia.
“Croatia’s role is constructive, it wants to share its experience that can prevent further conflicts, lessen the tension and share experience, which from our point of view, should lead to solutions.”
On Tuesday, President Zoran Milanović said that Ukraine did not belong in NATO, which prompted Kyiv to summon Croatia’s Ambassador Anica Džamić.
Milanović said, among other things, that there would be no Croatian soldiers in Ukraine in the event of Russia’s invasion and that the events in Ukraine of 2014, known as the Revolution of Dignity, were a military coup, that Europe had not done enough to assist Kyiv, and that the tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border were a consequence of the US home policy.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian authorities said Milanović’s statements in 2014 insulted the feelings of Ukrainians and foreign nationals who gave their lives for a European future.
Plenković today described Milanović’s statement as “surreal in every aspect” and recalled that this was not the first time that Croatian ambassadors were being summoned over Milanović’s comments.
Plenković recalled Milanović’s statements on Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and his statements on Hungary and Austria.
This seems to be a consistent track record of upgrading good bilateral relations with a number of countries important for Croatia, the PM said ironically.
Plenković told the press that he had talked with the Ukrainian ambassador in Zagreb and that logically, the ambassador was disappointed by Milanović’s statement.
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