Members of parliament on Thursday supported a proposed decision to send up to seventy Croatian troops to Hungary as part of NATO forces, agreeing that this was necessary due to the current situation in Ukraine and was also part of the country's defence obligations.
Presenting the proposed decision, the State Secretary at the Defence Ministry, Zdravko Jakop, said the current security situation was one of the most serious threats to Europe in decades.
"The attack on an independent, peaceable, democratic state is a bitter reminder that freedom, peace, security and stability cannot exist if we are not prepared to defend them," Jakop said.
The State Secretary said that in recent months NATO had generated additional rapid reaction forces in eastern member states, and forming new battle-groups in Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania.
"They will additionally develop their capabilities, increase the level of interoperability with forces from other member states, and directly contribute to strengthening, deterring and collective defence of the North Atlantic Alliance," he said.
A total of 38 million kuna has been secured from the state budget for the implementation of the government's decision to send troops to Hungary.
We must demonstrate solidarity and we must respect our obligations in the defence of peace and international order, MPs from both the ruling majority and the opposition said during the debate.
"Because if such threats happen to us tomorrow, we will request such assistance and such support. And that is why it is very important for Croatia to take part in this mission," added SDP President Peđa Grbin.
Currently, Croatia has 181 troops in UN and NATO peace missions. The vast majority, 141, are serving in the mission in Kosovo.
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