Croatian President Zoran Milanovic on Tuesday called Finland and Sweden's bid to join NATO "a dangerous adventure," adding that the two countries could not join NATO before the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina was changed.
The Croatian parliament “must not ratify anyone’s accession to NATO” until that law is changed, he told the press.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, next month the two countries will state their wish to join NATO, their media reported yesterday.
Milanovic said that formally he could not decide on his own on their accession to NATO but called it “very dangerous charlatanism.”
“As far as I’m concerned, let them join NATO… but until the issue of the election law in Bosnia is solved, until the Americans, the English, the Germans, if they can and want to, force (Bosniak officials) to change the election law in the next six months and give Croats their fundamental rights, the (Croatian) parliament must not ratify anyone’s accession to NATO,” he said.
Milanovic said “we are in a terrible situation” because Bulgaria and Romania cannot join Schengen, North Macedonia and Albania cannot begin EU accession negotiations and Kosovo has not been recognised, while Finland “can join NATO overnight.”
We are only asking that Finland and Sweden “tell the Americans to solve this,” he said. “For me, that’s a vital national interest of the Croatian state, nation and people, that Bosnia be a functioning state.”
Milanovic said he raised this issue with his French and German counterparts, but that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, due to his function, had a lot more room for that. “But he is neglecting that consciously and cowardly.”
Asked if Croats in Bosnia should boycott general elections in October unless the election law was changed, Milanovic said he did not know at the moment. “It seems to me the feeling among Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina is that they shouldn’t boycott so as not to bring into question local government.”