12:53 / 17.07.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Grlić Radman: We did not perceive Vučić's arrival as a sincere act, it is a provocation

Gordan Grlić Radman

Gordan Grlić Radman

Foto: HTV / HRT

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, called an extraordinary press conference in connection with media reports that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was banned from visiting Jasenovac by the Croatian government.

“According to unofficial information, we learned that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, in addition to his previous visit to Donja Gradina, would also visit the memorial area of Jasenovac, Pakrac, and we don't know which other places. We learned this through unofficial channels, which is unusual in communication. We consider this absence of a diplomatic procedure that announces the arrival of a high-ranking official to be unacceptable,” Gordan Grlić Radman said.

“We handed the Serbian embassy a note on Friday afternoon when we found out that the Serbian side still does not intend to inform the Croatian authorities about their arrival.

He read the "most important passage" from that note:

“The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia recalls that when planning any visit by foreign officials, the time, nature and program of the visit should be subject to official communication and agreement by both parties. The fact that the Croatian side was not officially informed about the intention of a possible visit to the Republic of Croatia is unacceptable to us," Grlić Radman said.

“And of course we perceive it as ill-intentioned, bearing in mind that we realized that such a visit is not sincere, that it is not a tribute to the victims, but that it is more motivated by the fact of meeting internal political needs in Serbia, and before the formation of the Serbian government. The Croatian government is sincerely advocating for the normalization of relations between Croatia and Serbia, which we have always stressed, in the end this is European practice, and no one has shown inclusiveness, tolerance, extended a hand in sincere dialogue more than the Government and Prime Minister Plenković to a Serbia that still hasn't faced the past,” Grlić Radman added.

“Who more than Croatia in the European context can be a role model when it comes to the involvement of national minorities and the protection of their rights, given the fact that the Serbian minority is very involved,” said Radman.

“This is not a trip to the sea. The president of the state is a protected person. This also requires the involvement of the Croatian authorities. When we cross borders, we announce it diplomatically, which means by sending a note. That didn't happen here. Borders cannot be crossed just like that. If we are talking about the normalization of relations, and honest dialogue, then such conversations should have taken place so that such a visit could take place,” noted Grlić Radman.

Asked if he considered it a political provocation of Serbia, Grlić Radman answered in the affirmative.

“We consider it a provocation precisely from the fact that here the victims are a means, not a goal. The goal is to present the efforts of President Vučić to the Serbian public and gain additional political points in the context of the formation of the government,” he explained.

Source: HRT

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