Zoran Milanovic has vetoed an initiative to train Kiev’s troops, advising the Croatian PM to “go to Ukraine and fight” himself
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday that Ukraine “is not an ally” of his country and warned against bringing “war” to the Balkans.
“Ukraine is not an ally. It’s being forcibly made into one. It was cynically granted the status of an EU candidate. That’s what the EU is today: squalor, zero.”
Talking to reporters, he also hit out against Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic for his proposal to have Ukrainian troops trained in Croatia. Milanovic said such a move would “bring war” to the country.
“You keep pushing moral blackmail,” he addressed Plenkovic, “but you have no morals yourself. Go to Ukraine and fight.”
Speaking of the Croatian military’s preparedness to fight, Milanovic noted it had a shortage of anti-tank rockets, for example. “We have Americans, who will defend us the way they defend the Ukrainians. Great!” he said sarcastically.
The president’s comments come after Croatian lawmakers failed to adopt a motion for the country to join an EU program intended to train some 15,000 Ukrainian military personnel to fight against Russia. Last week, only 97 Croatian MPs out of 151 voted for the proposal, just short of the two-thirds of lawmakers it needed to pass.
Ahead of the vote, Milanovic, who is the commander-in-chief of the Croatian armed forces, warned that joining the program could make Zagreb a target for Russia. Plenkovic, whose cabinet backed the mission, in turn accused the president of harboring “pro-Russian views.”