Sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia will not stop the war in Ukraine, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic warned during a visit to Switzerland, adding that the war could be stopped only with the help of diplomacy.
“These sanctions will not be enough to stop the war,” Milanovic said at a news conference after meeting his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis.
The Croatian president said that having followed “the stock exchange in Moscow and the ruble that has returned to the level of a month ago in relation to the dollar”, he had to conclude that “as in every such case, it unfortunately only encourages thugs.”
“I would be happiest if Russia withdrew in an hour, if it simply left, but that won’t happen,” Milanovic said, adding that the only way to stop the war is diplomacy, with mediation by the countries “that enjoy a certain level of trust.”
There are just a few such countries in the world, he said at the end of the news conference, bit did not elaborate further.
“Croatia cannot do much in Ukraine,” but it can do much in the Western Balkans, he said, adding that he and his Swiss counterpart discussed the topic at Cassis’s suggestion.
“That concerns us directly and we have good intentions,” Milanovic added.
The Western Balkans is very important for Europe’s stability and its security architecture, the Swiss president, a liberal and physician by profession, said.
Cassis said he was particularly moved to talk about that with the Croatian president and that it took him back to the time when he worked as a physician in Switzerland, working also with traumatised victims of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After their meeting, the two presidents participated in a panel on security challenges in Europe and Switzerland’s neutrality, after which they were expected to visit CERN, the European organisation for nuclear research.