18:41 / 17.03.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Reznikov vows that the wayward drone was not launched by Ukrainian forces

Crumpled remains of the drone that hit Zagreb

Crumpled remains of the drone that hit Zagreb

Foto: Slavko Midzor / PIXSELL

The Ukrainian Defense Minister addressed a meeting of the European Parliament's Security and Defense Subcommittee, its Foreign Affairs Committee and the EU-Ukraine Delegation via video-link on Thursday. Along with calls for EU countries to supply Ukraine with weapons without the constraints of red tape, and for the establishing of a no-fly zone. However, many analysts believe a no-fly zone would precipitate a full scale conflict between the West and Russia.

During the video-link Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also responded to a question from Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, who requested more information about the crash of a drone in Zagreb last week: “I am in contact with the Croatian Defense Minister on a daily basis with whom we are investigating that incident, making use of data from radars and technical indicators. I assure you, we did not launch that kind of drone at Croatia. Croatia is our friend. Ukraine was one of the first countries in the world to formally recognize Croatian statehood, and one of the first to officially send weapons to our friends, our Croatia brothers and to the Croatian people.”

He concluded that the drone incident has raised the question of NATO's security systems and its ability to protect its own airspace. Meanwhile, Croatian Defense Minister Mario Banožić today confirmed that the drone definitely came from Ukraine. A full week since the drone crashed in Zagreb's Jarun neighborhood, an investigation into the incident is still ongoing. The investigation has been rife with conflicting information, primarily on whether the drone was carrying an explosive payload or not.

On the 22nd day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces continued to shell the cities of Kiev, Mariupol, Chernihiv and Merefa. Efforts to evacuate civilians from several cities continue, as do negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: “Negotiations with Russia for Ukraine's future continue, my priorities are clear, the end of the war, a guarantee of security, sovereignty, a return to territorial integrity, and the true protection of our country.”

The Kremlin confirmed that the negotiations are ongoing, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that Russia is investing serious efforts into achieving a peace agreement. Peskov however, questioned the Ukrainian side's commitment to the negotiations.

President Zelenskyy also addressed the German Bundestag via video link today, criticizing Germany for isolating Ukraine and effectively handing it over to the Russians. He also questioned Berlin's commitment to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, that was designed to carry Russian natural gas to Germany directly, circumventing Ukraine: “Your help arrived too late to stop the war. Why did your policy never change after that? What is Germany's historical responsibility towards Ukraine? We see you desire to continue doing business with Russia. You continue to stand behind the wall that does not allow you to see what we are going through.”

Meanwhile, China has responded to Washington's warning that Beijing is on the wrong side of history and needs to back away from its support of Russia. The spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian: “The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has falsely claimed that China is on the wrong side of history. These messages coming from the United States are offensive to China, and reveal America's cold war mentality. These claims do not help in finding a solution to the problem, and China firmly rejects them.”

According to the White House, US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are scheduled to talk tomorrow.

Source: HRT

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