Following Turkey’s move, the Croatian president is also seeking a better deal with the bloc if Zagreb votes to invite the Nordic states
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic plans to task Ambassador Mario Nobilo, the country’s permanent representative to NATO, with blocking Finland and Sweden from joining the decades-old military alliance, he said. he said Wednesday.
Denying consent would draw international attention to the problems facing ethnic Croats in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milanovic told reporters. Under current election laws, Croatian representatives tend to be elected with the votes of Bosnian Muslims, also known as Bosnians. Zagreb is pushing to revise this.
“I’ve said it before, the Bosnian Croats are more important to me than the entire Russian-Finnish border“, said Milanović.
Stockholm and Helsinki officially broke with their history of neutrality on May 15 and applied for NATO membership. However, the acceptance of new countries into the bloc requires the unanimous consent of all members.
Turkey was ‘showing how to fight for national interests’, Milanovic said, stressing Ankara’s opposition to any deal admitting Sweden and Finland into NATO until they denounce “terrorists and their accomplices” associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), among other concessions.
“Turkey will definitely not move until it gets what it wants,” said the Croatian president.
Milanovic’s latest comments have strained his already strained relationship with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s government, which he has accused of failing to defend Croatian interests, local media N1 reported.
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman told state radio on Wednesday that Nobilo had already been ordered to “to approve the membership application of Finland and Sweden” and “will be mandated to sign a protocol which will follow in the coming days.”
The Croatian parliament is “Absolutely certain” to ratify the agreement, added Grlic-Radman.