18:55 / 26.01.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

President's comments on Ukraine spark diplomatic row

President Zoran Milanović

President Zoran Milanović

Foto: Tomislav Miletic / Pixsell

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned Croatian Ambassador Anica Djamić following Croatian President Zoran Milanović's statement on Tuesday that 'Ukraine does not belong in NATO' as well as other remarks.

Milanović said that Croatia would not have a military presence in Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion and that the tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border were a consequence of US domestic policy.


In a statement released on Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian ministry of foreign affairs said Milanović's comments on Ukraine not belonging in NATO and the inappropriateness of assisting the country during the Russian aggression caused deep disappointment.


"Zoran Milanović's statements retransmit Russian propaganda narratives, do not correspond to Croatia's consistent official position in support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, harm bilateral relations and undermine unity within the EU and NATO in the face of current security threats in Europe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demands a public refutation of these insulting statements by the President of Croatia, as well as non-repetition in the future."


The ministry finds that Milanović expressed "contempt and ingratitude" for the assistance Ukraine provided during Croatia's struggle for independence.


"At the same time, we are confident that this ingratitude is his personal trait and that it does not extend to the Croatian people, with whom we are linked by friendship and mutual respect," the ministry said.


Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reacted to the growing international incident caused by saying he "was not surprised at all."


"This isn't the first time our ambassadors have been summoned to the ministries of foreign affairs of various countries after a statement made by President Milanović which has an international element. Statements on Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, statements on Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, and now these statements on Ukraine. He's actually being consistent in his efforts to undermine our good international relations with such important countries," said Plenković.


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