Zoran Milanovic vetoed Kiev’s army training initiative, advising Croatian prime minister to “go to Ukraine and fight yourself”
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday that Ukraine “not an ally” of his country and warn against carrying “war” to the Balkans.
“Ukraine is not an ally. It is being forced into one. It was cynically awarded the status of an EU candidate. That’s what the EU is now: dirty, no.”
Speaking to reporters, he also lashed out at Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic for his proposal for Ukrainian troops to train in Croatia. Milanovic said such a move would “bring war” to the countryside, to the country.
“You continue to promote moral blackmail,” he told Plenkovic, “But you yourself have no morals. Come to Ukraine and fight.”
Talking about the combat readiness of the Croatian army, Milanovic noted that they lack anti-tank missiles, for example. “We have Americans who will protect us the way they protect the Ukrainians. So great!” he said sarcastically.
The president’s comments came after Croatian lawmakers rejected a proposal for the country to join an EU program to train some 15,000 Ukrainian servicemen to fight against Russia. Last week, only 97 Croatian MPs out of 151 voted for the proposal, just two-thirds short of the number of MPs needed to pass it.
Before the vote, Milanovic, commander-in-chief of the Croatian armed forces, warned that participating in the program could make Zagreb a target for Russia. Plenkovic, whose cabinet supports the mission, accuses the president of harboring “pro-Russian opinion.”
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