Defense Minister Damir Krstičević (Photo: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL) Defense Minister Damir Krstičević (Photo: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL)

A marathon five-hour meeting was held at the Ministry of Defense today at which Israeli officials explained to their Croatian counterparts that Israel could not deliver the F-16 fighter jets Croatia had agreed to buy.

The deal was blocked by the United States, which had not given Israel approval to sell the aircraft it had received from the United States. Washington cited subsequent modifications as the reason it had blocked the sale. Croatia was insisting on receiving the aircraft as agreed to in the contract of sale, modifications included.

Defense Minister Damir Krstičević announced the news after their meeting. "After our meeting, I can inform you that Israel has formally informed the Defense Ministry, that contrary to the obligations it assumed, unfortunately, it cannot get the required approval from the United States to deliver the Israeli F-16 Barrack fighter jets to Croatia. Given the situation, the Defense Ministry will propose to the government that it adopt the appropriate decisions. The contract of sale between Croatia and Israel was not been signed so absolutely no financial damage has been done to Croatia."

Source: HRT