20:16 / 24.11.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

HDZ whip accuses opposition of siding with Russia

Branko Bačić

Branko Bačić

Foto: Slaven Branislav Babic / Pixsell

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) parliamentary bench on Thursday criticised the Opposition for its evasive position on the decision on the Croatian Army's engagement in the European mission to train Ukrainian soldiers (EUMAM).

Some of the Opposition MPs said earlier on Thursday that the government's proposal for the engagement of Croatia in EUMAM is not in line with the Constitution, which prompted the ruling HDZ to accuse them of siding with Russia in the Russian-Ukrainian war.


"It is obvious that the Opposition, by trying to explain that such a proposal is unconstitutional, is siding with the Russian Federation, not wanting to get involved in Croatia's clear, unequivocal aid to Ukraine, which is a victim of Russian aggression," Branko Bačić, the whip of the HDZ club of deputies, told reporters.


Bačić says that it would have been more acceptable to him if the political parties that "hide behind the possible unconstitutionality of this decision" had clearly declared their position, as the Croatian the Sovereigntists did.


The Sovereigntists claim that accepting such a decision would practically be "setting a target on Croatia" and thus Croatia would expose itself unnecessarily to the Russian Federation. "This is their legitimate position, which is unacceptable for us, but it is clear and is not an attempt to hide behind unconstitutionality," Bačić said.


He stressed the proposed decision on EUMAM is a lower level of military aid to Ukraine, after Croatia supplied it with weapons, and on the other hand, it represents a continuation of the principled and credible policy of solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are under threat.


He adds that it is a decision of the Council of Ministers of the EU, which was supported by almost all members of the bloc, and Croatia and Ukraine are members of the Partnership for Peace, as an organisation and alliance associated with NATO.


Bačić said that it was time to ask the President and the Opposition if they wanted to be part of the Western democracy or if they wanted, in this critical moment for Ukraine's survival, to side with Russia and Putin.


Bačić emphasised that it was almost unimaginable for him that Croatia would be the only country that would not implement the decision of the European Council.


Earlier in the day, Opposition lawmakers from the SDP, the Social Democrats and the Most party said that a decision on Croatia's participation in EUMAM did not fall within the purview of the parliament and that the government's draft decision on the matter is not in line with the Constitution.


They said that the matter should be decided by the government with the consent of Croatia's President, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.


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