PM Plenkovic at Davos: Croatia wants peace and stability in the region

NEWS 25.01.2019 12:55
Source: N1

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic attended a panel on the Western Balkans on Friday as part of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

The panel discussed a variety of topics, including regional stability, boosting trade and competitiveness, and joining the so-called “fourth industrial revolution.”

This panel, held behind closed doors, also included Macedonian Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Prime Minister, Denis Zvizdic, and Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic.

Talking to N1 after the meeting, Plenkovic said that he had pointed out three key points in his remarks.

“Present-day leaders must have a good understanding of what went on in the area east of Croatia in the 1990s in order to understand today’s relations. Second, joint efforts of state instutions muct complement each othern in terms of building the infrastructure and modernisation required for the fourth industrial revolution. Third, Croatia will host a EU and Southeast Europe summit in May 2019, during the time of Croatia’s EU chairmanship,” Plenkovic said.

He was also asked to comment on recent statements by Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, about the prospects of the Serb-dominated half of Bosnia and Herzegovina seceding.

“Croatia’s stance is that peace and stability in our neighbourhood are paramount. We don’t approve of anything that might cause instability, and we want to see a high degree of responsibility of all the partners involved. We have heard similar statements before… It is Croatia’s policy to respect the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Plenkovic told N1.

He was also asked to comment on recent comments by an executive of Russia’s Sberbank saying that the bank planned to sell it’s 39 percent stake at the Croatian food and retail group Agrokor. Sberbank is expected to formally become owner of the stake after the debt-for-equity deal with the company’s creditors is finalised later this year.

Plenkovic told N1 that it made no sense to expect that Sberbank, who acquired the stake as Agrokor’s creditor, to take over and run a company dealing with farming, food, and retail.

“What’s essential is that the debt-for-equity deal is finalised, and that employees keep their jobs,” Plenkovic said.

Later on Friday, Plenkovic is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Zvizdic, Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, and Swiss President, Ueli Maurer.

The uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, global trade wars, climate change, and the slowdown in global growth have dominated this year’s Davos meeting.

A lot of attention has also been devoted to the latest developments in Venezuela, where opposition leader of the parliament Juan Guaido has declared himself president and has been recognised by the United States, Canada and a majority of South American countries.

Top EU officials, including EU Council President Donald Tusk and EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, issued statements in support of Guaido and called for new elections in the country.

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