Russia Denies It Sent Weapons to Croatia in Early 1990s

Total Croatia News

Media reports claim that Russia was the one arming Croatia during the international arms embargo.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied recent reports published by the Croatian media that Moscow in the early 1990s was supplying Croatia with weapons, including the S-300 missile system, which would be in violation of the then UN embargo, reports on April 15, 2017.

“Russia has consistently complied with its international obligations, including those related to the embargo on the delivery of weapons to the conflicting parties during the Yugoslav crisis from 1991 to 1995,” said deputy spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Artyom Kozhin, as reported by the Ministry’s website.

“We believe that these media reports are a provocation and represent distortion of the facts with the aim of denigrating the policy of the Russian Federation in the Balkans,” said Kozhin in his answer to journalists’ request to comment on reports in the Croatian media on the Russian deliveries of weapons to Croatia in the early 1990s. “It is particularly unacceptable to mention, in the context of all these fabrications, alleged contacts of the Russian Ambassador in Zagreb,” he added, stressing that “the responsibility lies with the authors of such fabrications.”

Večernji List published on Thursday a report that Russian ambassador to Croatia Anvar Azimov had recently invited to the embassy for a meeting Zvonko Zubak, a Croatian businessman who trades in weapons. The Ambassador allegedly asked him to put together a list of weapons which Russia supplied to Croatia, including the S-300 missile system, during the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia while an embargo of the United Nations was in effect.

The report described that in the 1990s Russian transport aircraft delivered weapons mainly by landing at the Pula airport. According to the report, the latest Russian intervention is a result of its unhappiness with Croatian policies, including the way in which the government is trying to solve the problem with Agrokor, whose main creditors are two Russian banks.

From 1992 to 1997, about 160 flights from Russia allegedly brought weapons to Croatia. One of the systems in question was S-300, which was presented at the major military parade in 1995, although it is not clear whether it was completed and usable. In the meantime, the system has disappeared. It is rumoured in the Croatian media that it was handed over by Croatia to western countries. It is currently a subject of litigation, because Zubak claims that it was never paid by the government.


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