Croatia’s green party wants country to focus on conflict prevention

Opposition parties in the Croatian parliament debated the possible sending of Croatian troops to Ukraine. [Sergei Dolzhenko/EPA/EFE]

Opposition parties in the Croatian parliament debated the possible sending of Croatian troops to Ukraine following the president’s statements about the crisis that provoked strong reactions. Sandra Benčić of the Green-Left Bloc said her group would vote against sending Croatian troops.

“I think that two branches of government in Croatia cannot have different views on this issue, that is unacceptable in the current situation because this issue is not of small importance, it concerns potential escalation of a conflict in our relative vicinity that can have far-reaching global consequences. Croatia must have a unanimous view,” she said in reference to the differing views of President Zoran Milanović and the government.

Benčić added that Croatia’s role in NATO should focus on providing capacity for conflict prevention, diplomacy, post-conflict peace and community-building.

“We’ll see what happens with this crisis. I don’t think that being a small country, Croatia should get involved, neither what (President Zoran) Milanović is doing nor what (PM Andrej) Plenković did regarding Crimea and Ukraine is good, we should not be the ones to set the dynamic of a major world conflict. Let us wait a bit, the West and the USA are our strategic partners, but we are not the ones to set the pace of these conflicts or make big statements like Plenković and Milanović,” said Nikola Grmoja from the Most (Bridge, rightwing) party.

Domagoj Hajduković of the Social Democrats was of a similar view. “Ukraine is not a NATO member, we have no obligations towards it,” he added.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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