Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that Romanian and Hungarian radars had failed to recognize the drone that flew above their territories and crashed in Zagreb last week "as the right kind of alarm" because "there had been other false alarms in those days," adding that "all Croatian partners understood the seriousness of the situation," state agency Hina reported.
Speaking at a cabinet session, Plenkovic said he had visited Nato’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Torrejon, Spain on Wednesday, where he “once again checked with them what was happening on radars” on Thursday night.
“Romanian and Hungarian radars did not recognize the vehicle as the right kind of alarm. That’s very demanding, given that there are a lot of such blips… First it showed up, then it disappeared, and in those days there were other false alarms, and fighter jets had been put in the air over situations of a different nature,” Plenkovic said.
“However, since the drone crashed in Croatia’s capital, all partners understand the seriousness of the situation… There are three possible scenarios (to explain this) – either a mistake was made, or it was an act of sabotage, or it was intentional. That has to be determined so that all surveillance mechanisms can be prepared for such situations (going forward) and so that attention is paid because of the war in Ukraine,” he said.
“We will inform the public of all details so there is no confusion, false information, wrong comments and expert analyses without actual insight into what really happened because that’s not good either for the public or those making comments based on incomplete information,” Plenkovic said.
“The relevant authorities are still looking into all the details of the crash. It has been established that that it was a Tupolev Tu-141 Strizh reconnaissance drone whose range was over 1,000 km. Given the traces found at the crash site, it has been established that the drone had an explosive device which exploded several meters below ground,” Plenkovic said.
He went on to say that military exercises were taking place these days in Croatia with the French and US air forces, reiterating that this was a strong message to the Croatian public that the allies and partners were with Croatia in this situation.
He also said that by Thursday Croatia had taken in 7,200 Ukrainian refugees.