- Published: 31.07.2023.
Continuation of Croatia’s strong support for mine clearance projects in Ukraine
“We consider inter-parliamentary cooperation an important instrument for the strengthening of our bilateral cooperation. The intensity of our contacts and visits on parliamentary and other levels was very high. In the last few months, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and a number of ministers have visited Ukraine. Croatia is available for all forms of assistance in the institutional and legislative alignment with the EU,” Grlić Radman said. He added that due to its own experience with war, Croatia knew all too well what Ukraine is going through.
Grlić Radman also held talks with Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna, underlining Croatia’s support for Ukraine’s European path and EU integration. He stressed the importance of continued reforms and progress towards EU membership, reiterating Croatia’s readiness to share its experiences and knowledge in order to speed up the progress in European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
In addition, Grlić Radman met with Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko. The main topic discussed was the importance of demining in the process of restoration of economic and social activities in Ukraine. Grlić Radman said that Croatia was ready to provide support and work with Ukraine to ensure a safe and sustainable environment for the citizens and create conditions for a speedy economic recovery.
Aware of the urgency of dealing with the challenges posed by mines and explosive remnants of war, Grlić Radman and Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Ukraine Matthew Hollingworth signed a directed multilateral contribution agreement between the Croatian government and the WFP for the activities of the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Ukraine. The Croatian donation will have a direct impact on households and small farmers in mine-infested areas, helping them to restore their sources of income and reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid.
Grlić Radman announced that on 11 and 12 October 2023, Croatia will host an international donor conference on humanitarian demining in Ukraine. The conference will be a key platform for the mobilization of additional international support and funds needed for successful mine clearance in Ukraine.
As part of its foreign policy and development and humanitarian efforts, Croatia has contributed €4 million to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for the implementation of a demining project in Ukraine, and during his visit, Grlić Radman met with representatives of the UNDP Office in Kyiv. The Croatian delegation, joined by Director of Civil Protection Directorate Damir Trut and associates, had the opportunity to see the equipment bought with Croatian funds that will be extremely useful for mine clearance projects in Ukraine.
In his working visit to Ukraine, Grlić Radman was also joined by Chairwoman of the Hrvatska Pomaže (Croatia Helps) Association Đurđa Adlešić. The association is implementing a project of international development cooperation among civil society organizations, financed by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Under the project, more than 160 Ukrainian children have been staying in Croatia to date. The goal is to provide psychosocial rehabilitation and educate them about safety, notably concerning mines.