17:51 / 14.03.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Milanović: We need to start building an air defense system

Croatian President Zoran Milanović

Croatian President Zoran Milanović

Foto: HTV / HRT

Croatian President, Zoran Milanović, held a press conference on the unmanned aircraft that crashed in Zagreb after meeting with leaders from the Croatian Military and security and intelligence agencies earlier today. He said such a thing is unlikely to happen again, but stressed the need to build an air defense system. He did not reveal details to the press about the aircraft, or whether it had a bomb, after the Minister of Defense said yesterday that parts of an aviation bomb were found on it. He said that the public is safe at this moment.

President Zoran Milanović said that the investigation was underway as far as the nature of the aircraft was concerned and that he would not talk about the details. He also called on "others who address the media in front of the bushes every 15 minutes not to do so and not to go there unnecessarily".

“At this moment, there is no danger from that specific object for the Croatian public,” Milanović added.

He stated that the construction of the Croatian air defense system should begin, the deficiency of which, as he said, he warned about two or three months ago.

“Now is the right time, and quickly, not urgently, because something like this will probably not happen again, but we have seen all the shortcomings that exist and the fact that we can rely on NATO, but that we make those kinds of decisions,” said Milanović.

"There is no absolute security"

“We all learned something from this. We are a member of NATO, I would say, solid and loyal, but at the end of the day we are the only ones who take care of our own security. And that is why I expect that the appropriate means will be urgently found, which are incomparably smaller than the ones we have set aside and will set aside for combat aircraft, so that these systems are strengthened as soon as possible with those means and tools they can be strengthened with, and those are simpler tools. Then in some medium-term period, without too many complications in public procurement, because these are not European funds, this is an important thing – appropriate systems be procured for the needs of Croatian national security and defense and air defense systems, which again are not a guarantee of absolute security; but they are certain levels of security. Because there is no absolute security,” said Milanović.

He asked "everyone who has operational technical knowledge from the investigation to keep quiet about it".

Asked by reporters about the details of the aircraft, he replied:

“The public can be calm and is safe at the moment. That’s it, all you need to know, like when some other kind of investigation is being conducted.”

Asked by reporters whether the aircraft had an aviation bomb or a self-destruction bomb onboard, he said that they should ask Minister of Defense Mario Banožić, adding that this is not a topic that should be talked about publicly.

Asked if there was a bomb or not, he replied that he could not say.

“I can't tell you for sure whether that aircraft was flown in by Ukrainian forces. We can't be completely sure. We will probably never know that,” said the president.

He said that he expected the government, just as he had asked them to take the American gift in the form of about 80 Bradleys, to find the means and ways for Croatia to have certain air defense systems as soon as possible."

“At the moment, there are none. It's no secret,” he said.

"NATO's secretary general is a political figure, he doesn't really know anything"

He also said that he would not speak with the NATO Secretary General because that would be parading and there is no need for that.

“He is a political person, he does not decide on that and in fact he knows nothing. Our commanders spoke with the commanders, as needed, and they did, with the highest commanders,” said Milanović.

Source: HRT

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