Croatian FM ‘expects’ MPs to okay NATO enlargement before June summit

NEWS 16.05.2022 21:12
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Source: Bernd von Jutrczenka / POOL / AFP, Ilustracija

"Croatian Foreign Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said in Brussels on Monday that he hoped the Croatian Parliament would ratify Finland's and Sweden's accession to NATO ahead of the NATO Summit in Madrid in late June," state agency Hina said.

“I hope that the ratification in Parliament would be finished before the summit in Madrid,” Grlic-Radman told reporters after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

He added that “everything would depend on when the two countries apply for membership and on the pace of negotiations that had to be conducted before joining the organization.”

Asked whether anyone had asked about the position of President Zoran Milanovic, who called for blocking Finland’s and Sweden’s accession to NATO in order to force the US to change Bosnia’s election law to the benefit of Bosnian Croats, Grlic-Radman said no.

“No one asked me about President Milanovic. They asked whether Croatia had any objections. Croatia absolutely and without a doubt supports every country which meets the criteria for NATO, which is the case with Finland and Sweden,” said Grlic-Radman.

The main topics at the meeting of EU foreign ministers were the Western Balkans, and the EU’s response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Grlic-Radman expressed Croatia’s “great disappointment and concern” over the fact that no agreement had been reached on changing the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He announced that President of the European Council Charles Michel would visit Bosnia and Herzegovina on 22 May and speak with the leaders of ethnic Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Serbs.

“I expect there could be some progress with regard to the election law,” he said.

Grlic-Radman said that opening accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia would send “a strong message” to all Western Balkans countries.

Grlic-Radman said that in the discussion he noted “how important it was for Serbia to align its foreign policy with the EU’s foreign affairs with regard to the war in Ukraine.”

“I also underscored the issue of the rule of law, the issue of people went missing in the war, dealing with the past, the need to stop the glorification of war crimes,” Grlic-Radman said.

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