Prime Minister Andrej Plenković held meetings with members of the Government and the relevant services on the reception and care of refugees from Ukraine, additional assistance that Croatia will provide to that country and the situation with the supply of energy. An extraordinary session of the Government will be held tomorrow, and he announced what decisions will be made. He also pointed out that Croatia is closing its airspace to Russian airlines.
Decisions that will oppose this behavior of Russia
“Meetings were held in the Government on the occasion of Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine, which has serious consequences not only for Ukraine but also for the foundations of international order, violation of international law and stability. We must make decisions in order to oppose such behavior of Russia,” said Andrej Plenković and announced that there would be an extraordinary session of the Government tomorrow.
“We have prepared a package of measures and information on everything that many departments are working on these days. I spoke today, as in recent days, with our Ambassador Anica Djamić in Ukraine. There are still between 35 and 50 of our citizens in Ukraine. Those who worked in the EU, OSCE mission are being evacuated or some have already been returned. The ambassador is there and in contact with them and will be at their disposal and help if they want to leave Ukraine,” said the Prime Minister.
He added that they are in the process of deciding on the establishment of an inter-ministerial working group that will deal with the reception of refugees from Ukraine.
“Yesterday and today, refugees have already arrived in Croatia, and we will offer our experiences based on the experience from the Homeland War and in the care of refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The process will be coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, the Civil Protection Headquarters and other departments, and we will help accept a certain number of Ukrainian refugees in the Republic of Croatia. We will also reach a conclusion on the establishment of an expert working body at the level of the Ministry of Health for the health care of people who will come to Croatia,” pointed out Plenković.
“Given the possible repercussions of the war in Ukraine on the energy situation, tomorrow we will update a decision on the crisis team that is crucial for the intervention plan in measures to protect security of gas supply in Croatia so that we are ready for all challenges. At the moment, the supply of gas to households and the economy is not endangered, but we want to take measures so that one team keeps an eye on this topic, which is especially important for our citizens,” he said.
“The government has made a political decision that we will ban flights for our airspace to Russian airlines. In the afternoon, there will be a political debate on this topic at the meeting of EU foreign ministers, which will be attended by Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman. After that, I believe that appropriate decisions will be made at the EU level as well. Tomorrow, the Government will adopt a conclusion on that topic,” said Plenković.
On restrictive measures against Russia as well as support for Ukraine through defense cooperation
“We will also make a decision on a permanent group to implement and monitor the implementation of international limiting measures, ie restrictive measures, which will deal with this topic on a daily basis, given the dynamic situation related to the war in Ukraine,” announced the Prime Minister.
"We will also make certain decisions in support of Ukraine, which is a victim of aggression, which will be related to defense cooperation, protective equipment and certain other equipment in order to respond to their request," he added.
“A debate is underway, Minister Zdravko Marić came from France, where the finance ministers discussed the exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT system, international payment transactions and payments, discussions are underway on this topic and I am convinced that today we will achieve consensus at the EU level when it comes to SWIFT,” he noted.
“Tomorrow's session of the Government has a character that is directly related to the efforts we as Croatia are making, but also through participation in everything the EU is doing to help Ukraine and, with our activities, once again warn of the unacceptability of Russia's aggression against Ukraine in recent days. Once again, we express our solidarity and regret for all the suffering that has taken place these days. The lives of both soldiers and civilians have been lost, and we believe that this is unacceptable, we oppose it and condemn the aggression,” said Prime Minister Plenković.
Regarding relations between Croatia and Russia, he said that it was obvious that they were not good at the moment, to put it mildly.
“We have taken positions within the framework of the EU and NATO, Croatia is on the right side of history, on the right side of values, on the right side of international law, and on the right side of humanity,” he stressed.
On sending Croatian weapons to Ukraine
The Prime Minister said that Ukraine has Croatia's support on the European path and that we believe it has a European perspective.
Asked what the defense cooperation between Croatia and Ukraine will be and whether we will send weapons, Prime Minister Plenković said that Ukraine had asked for support from all EU member states.
“You see that such decisions are being made. The Ministry of Defense has prepared a proposal that I think we will agree on during the evening and tomorrow, and we will inform the President of the Republic,” said Plenković.
Asked what Croatia would send and in what value, Plenković answered that he would address this tomorrow.
On the fact that dozens of volunteers went to fight in Ukraine, he said that it was an act of individuals and that all those who go to Ukraine in the current situation go there on their own responsibility.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković also held a meeting with members of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Civil Protection Directorate and the Red Cross in order to raise the level of preparedness regarding the reception of refugees from Ukraine due to Russian aggression.
The seat of the Croatian Government “Banski dvori” was illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on Saturday night, and in a Twitter post, along with a photo of the illuminated building, the Prime Minister sent a message of solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine is an independent and sovereign state. Croatia is with you, he pointed out.
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