Government strongly supports Finland, Sweden NATO bid

  • Slika
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman appeared on Nova TV to comment on the Croatian president’s statements about blocking Finland and the diplomatic efforts to free the Croat imprisoned in Ukraine.
Since the start of the war, Croatia has been stressing that people going to Ukraine are doing so at their own risk. Can the imprisoned Croat still be pulled out?
“The chances are great. We are doing everything we can diplomatically and politically to see his release. I cannot say much right now, but I’m optimistic,” Grlić Radman said.
“Croatia still has embassies in Moscow and Ukraine. The life of the Croatian national is our number one priority,” the minister said, also commenting on Slovenia’s threat to block Croatia’s Schengen accession.
According to media, Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister Tanja Fajon advocates Croatia joining the Schengen Area, but on the condition that the border arbitration award is implemented.
“I am sure that my Slovenian counterpart will support Croatia’s accession because it is in Slovenia’s interests, and I am confident that it will be in a European spirit,” Grlić Radman said.
“Slovenian citizens want to see Croatia in the Schengen Area so they could cross the border more easily. Some 100 000 of them do so every year, mostly for vacation along the Adriatic,” he said.
Finland, Sweden, Milanović and NATO
Grlić Radman told the press earlier in the day that his counterparts were calling him, asking about Milanović’s threats that Croatia will block Finland and Sweden’s NATO bid.
“They want to know if the president is serious and whether that’s our foreign policy, are we really going to block Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession,” he said.
“The Swedish foreign minister was concerned and astounded. Croatia is committed to NATO. I explained to them that Croatia supported Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession and that our parliament will ratify it,” said Grlić Radman.
The U.S. State Department has said that it supported NATO enlargement and the right of each country to choose its allies with no outside influence. Grlić Radman thinks that it is possible that the U.S. invites Milanović for talks.
“Everything’s possible. Let’s wait for the Berlin meetings tomorrow and the day after and see. Milanović is damaging our reputation and now we have to try and repair it,” the minister said.
Hundredth anniversary of Tuđman’s birth
Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Franjo Tuđman.
“There will be a lot of celebrations in Croatia and that’s good. But only one is official and I believe it will go down in a dignified manner,” said Grlić Radman.