18:38 / 13.05.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

President pushes for veto on NATO expansion

President Zoran Milanović

President Zoran Milanović

Foto: Robert Anic / Pixsell

President Zoran Milanović, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said on Friday that he and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković needed to come together in insisting on changes to the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a condition for further NATO expansion. 

The ruling coalition government, led by Plenković, is a strong proponent of assuring that Croats are on equal footing with the other two constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina but they differ strongly from the president when it comes to using the country's veto on NATO expansion in order to achieve it.

Milanović said he wasn't giving up on his ultimatum, saying he had no choice but to fight for the fundamental rights of Croats.

"If the HDZ and I were united, we would immediately be taken very seriously and I guarantee the situation would be resolved. The changing of the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the guarantee that Croatia seeks. Finland's desire to join NATO is just like our desire to resolve the issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The difference is that we've been talking about this issue for years. We are behaving like we're not even a country. With this issue we have hit a moral rock bottom," said the president.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković responded to the remarks, saying the would harm Croatia on the international stage.

"Blocking Finland and Sweden will play right into Russia's hands. I don't think this is a good move. If Croatia were to actually block the accession of those two countries, it would destroy Croatia's international position and reputation, and would in no way help Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Jandroković.

The Foreign Ministry repeated on Thursday that Croatia unconditionally supports the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO. In a stark rebuke to a statement made the day before by President Milanović, the foreign ministry assured that Croatia's ambassador to NATO would follow the government's instructions regarding enlargement, not those of the president.

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