Croatia supports Ukraine’s application to join the European Union, said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Sunday as he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials in Kyiv in a show of support, marking a stark contrast to President Zoran Milanović, who has been disparaging Ukraine ever since the Russian invasion started.
“Croatia knows what it means to suffer a military aggression and continues to provide political, financial, humanitarian, technical and every other help to Ukraine, as well as help in housing Ukrainian refugees,” the Zagreb government said in a statement, referring to Croatia’s 1991-95 war of independence from Yugoslavia.
On Ukraine’s application to join the EU, Plenković said on Sunday that “we shall stand by you in the next debate on the matter in the European Council.” While an MEP, Plenković chaired the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee from 2014 to 2016.
Milanović, a former Social Democrat prime minister who has since embraced populist rhetoric, said in January that Ukraine was “one of the most corrupt countries in Europe.” He also accused the West, including the EU and NATO, of egging Kyiv on and then leaving it at the mercy of the Russian army.
He has also said that “if Ukraine were a real democratic country, it would have already started negotiations with the EU and had some kind of a status.”
So far, he is one of the few EU statesmen who has not spoken to Zelenskyy since the war began.