Apart from Turkey, Croatia also wants to block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO. Photo/REUTERS
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic plans to instruct Ambassador Mario Nobilo, the country’s permanent representative to NATO, to block Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to the decades-old military alliance.
Milanovic said refusing the agreement would turn the international community’s attention to the problems facing ethnic Croats in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Under current electoral laws, Croatian representatives tend to be elected by a Bosnian Muslim vote, also known as a Bosniak. Zagreb is pushing to revise this.
“I have said before, Croatia in Bosnia is more important to me than the entire Russia-Finland border,” Milanovic said.
Stockholm and Helsinki officially broke off their history of neutrality on May 15 and applied for NATO membership. However, the acceptance of new countries to the bloc requires the unanimous approval of all members.
“Turkey is showing how to fight for the national interest,” Milanovic said, pointing to Ankara’s opposition to any deal recognizing Sweden and Finland to NATO until they denounced “terrorists and their accomplices” linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Liberation Front Party. Revolutionary (DHKP/C), among other concessions.
“Turkey will definitely not give in until it gets what it wants,” said the Croatian president, as quoted from Russia TodayThursday (19/5/2022).
local media, N1reports that Milanovic’s latest comments have placed more strain on his relationship with the government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, whom he accuses of failing to defend Croatian interests.
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman told state radio on Wednesday that Nobilo had been told to approve Finland and Sweden’s membership applications and would be given a power of attorney to sign the protocol which would follow in the next few days.
“The Croatian parliament is absolutely confident that it will ratify the agreement,” Grlic-Radman added.