18:54 / 10.11.2021.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Bickering between President and Government over Armed Forces continues

President Milanović and Prime Minister Plenković

President Milanović and Prime Minister Plenković

Foto: Dalibor Urukalović / PIXSELL

Following weeks of bitter public exchanges between the Croatian President and Defense Minister regarding the situation in the armed forces, sessions of the Defense Council and National Security Council were held on Tuesday.

Even after yesterday's sessions of the Defense Council and National Security Council, bickering between President Zoran Milanović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and his Defense Minister, Mario Banožić, continued on Wednesday with regard to how the Croatian Armed Forces are being led.


On Wednesday Prime Minister Plenković claimed that Milanović had stifled the Chief of General Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj, during yesterday’s sessions of the Defense Council and National Security Council: "In my opinion Admiral Hranj is a serious and good man, and he is a member of the Defense Council as the Chief of the General Staff and not as someone who has a supreme commander, and if he is asked something then it is up to him to answer, not for someone to tell him that's a political question and you won't answer that question."


For his part Milanović denied the allegation, making public the contents of a letter sent to him on Wednesday by Admiral Hranj regarding the Defense and National Security Council sessions.


Excerpt from a letter from the Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces: "Regarding the numerous media requests to comment on my participation in the Defense Council, I would like to emphasize that, as a professional soldier and as the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, I consider it inappropriate to present details of yesterday's Defense Council and National Security Council meetings to the public. I am convinced that at the Defense Council meeting I answered all the questions asked of me in accordance with my personal understanding and knowledge."


According to a statement issued by the government on Tuesday the focus session of the National Security Council was on the security situation in Southeast Europe and the problem of illegal migration. It also adopted its annual guidelines for the work of the security and intelligence agencies for 2022, in accordance with the Law on the Security and Intelligence System.


Source: HRT

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