18:53 / 02.03.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

MPs and guests in Parliament emotionally welcome Prime Minister's speech on Ukraine

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Parliament

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Parliament

Foto: Patrik Macek / PIXSELL

After Croatian Parliament gave strong support to Ukraine in a declaration and condemned the Russian aggression, today Prime Minister Andrej Plenković submitted a report to the deputies on the situation in that country.

Deputies and guests emotionally welcomed the Prime Minister's speech on Ukraine


“Croatia strongly condemns this aggression and expresses its full support for the Ukrainian people who are once again dying for European values in these difficult times, as well as President Zelensky and Prime Minister Shmyhal who bravely oppose this insane aggression with their people,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković whose words MPs accompanied by rising from the benches, giving a long applause and the unraveling the Ukrainian flag.

They were joined by Ukrainian Ambassador to Croatia Vasily Kirilich, who followed the Prime Minister's report from the parliamentary gallery, along with representatives of the Ukrainian minority.


The Parliament Speaker welcomed them and the deputies greeted them with long, warm applause.


"The War of David and Goliath"


Plenković said that this is "a war of David and Goliath, in which Russia is attacking Ukraine, which is 28 times smaller in size" and that Russia is the aggressor, and Ukraine is the victim.


Croatia is sending weapons, ammunition and protective equipment to the infantry worth 124 million kuna. The European Union has provided 500m euros in aid to the former Soviet republic for the purchase of protective and military equipment.


The war in Ukraine has been going on for seven days, with more than 600,000 Ukrainian refugees arriving on EU territory. The world has responded to the Russian bombing of Ukrainian cities with sanctions against Moscow and by sending aid to Ukraine.


Ukrainians will not bow their heads


The Croatian Prime Minister said that Croatia and its partners in the Union had shown determination, solidarity and unity, and that this war had identified the need for energy autonomy and strengthening defense capabilities.


He pointed out that Croatia has always advocated Ukraine's European perspective and recalled that he had signed a Declaration on that perspective with Zelensky in Kiev in December.


Plenković added that the war scenes in Ukraine bring memories of the Homeland War.


“All these scenes in Croatia will be painful memories for us, of the Greater Serbia aggression of the Milosevic regime and the horrors of war that we experienced,” said the Croatian Prime Minister.


He congratulated the members of Croatian Parliament on their unity in condemning Russia and solidarity with Ukraine, and expressed satisfaction that the parliamentary majority and the opposition are "on the same side - justice and freedom."


“Supporting Ukraine and respecting the courage of Ukrainians not to flee from tanks, not to give in to blackmail, not to bow their heads, to be inspired by love for the homeland, as Croats were in the Homeland War, let us be with Ukraine and Ukrainians today. Glory to Ukraine,” Plenković concluded in his speech with the applause of those gathered and the Ukrainian flag in Parliament.


In accordance with an inter-party agreement, only the representatives of clubs of deputies, 16 of them and deputies without a club, expressed their opinion on the Prime Minister's Report.


Prior to his report, lawmakers condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine in open speeches starting the parliamentary week.


The government has accepted a package of measures related to the situation in Ukraine - measures for the possible reception of refugees, measures for gas supply and a decision to ban the use of airspace by Russian airlines and aircraft.


For the government's package of measures, the prime minister received support in meetings with the ruling coalition and then with the opposition.


Plenković: We are caring for stability in our surroundings, let them refrain from incidents


“We are caring for stability and security in our immediate environment, the countries of Southeast Europe, our policy is a policy of peace and good neighborliness and support to those countries on the path to the EU and NATO,” said Plenković during the parliamentary debate on the situation in Ukraine due to Russian aggression, responding to MPs' concern about the possible spillover of the crisis to our neighborhood.


“We want everyone to refrain from any incidents, any inflammatory rhetoric and anything that could destabilize the situation that is already tense in at least three countries in our region. By no means should it happen that we have two parallel crisis hotspots in Europe at the same time. This chaos is enough now,” emphasized Prime Minister Plenković.


Bojan Glavašević, a representative of the Green-Left Bloc, recalled a statement by Milorad Dodik, who, in addition to supporting Russian President Putin in the context of aggression, called the Ukrainian defenders "armed bandits".


“As for Dodik and his position on Ukrainian defenders, I unequivocally condemn him,” said the Prime Minister.


Plenković: The security of the LNG terminal and the food market have been taken into account ...


Plenković also emphasized in Parliament that Croatia is taking care of the security of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, a strategic facility by which Croatia has changed its position on the energy map of Europe.


“Care is also taken not to jeopardize the needs of our food market, to ensure a better price and sufficient quantities,” said the Prime Minister.


When asked by Andreja Marić (SDP) about the readiness of the health system for nuclear danger, Plenković also reported that an expert working group has been formed in the Ministry of Health to take care of all aspects of health care in all scenarios.


“On the threat of nuclear weapons, I sincerely hope that such a scenario will not happen, because that would be the end of everything we know as the world,” emphasized Plenković.


Mario Kapulica (HDZ) recalled that the President had recently ridiculed the possibility of Russian aggression, and spoke about extremists in Ukraine.


“This is a moment in which we must give the opportunity to those who were not precise enough to side with the right side,” Plenković replied, agreeing that there were outbursts, bad assessments and poorly pronounced sentences and called on everyone to be united in the period ahead.


Source: HRT


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