Commenting on the German foreign minister’s declaration that Europe is “fighting a war against Russia,” Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Thursday that this was news to him, and wished Berlin better luck than in WWII.
Croatia “should in no way help” Ukraine militarily, Milanovic said while visiting the port city of Split. “Do you want us to enter the war?”
Framing the Ukraine conflict as one between Washington and Moscow, he reminded reporters that he was criticized for merely echoing the words of Kiev’s defense minister, about the current conflict being a “proxy war” between NATO and Russia.
“Now the German foreign minister says we must be united, because I quote, we are at war with Russia. I didn’t know that,” Milanovic said. “Maybe Germany is at war with Russia, but then, good luck, maybe this time it turns out better than 70-odd years ago.”
The Croatian president was baffled to hear such a claim from the leader of the German Greens, which he said used to be a pacifist party equally against the US and the USSR, and not from Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“If we are at war with Russia, then let’s see what we need to do. But we won’t ask Germany for its opinion,” Milanovic added. “Let them figure out who is the actual chancellor over there. I’ve been in politics for a long time, and our country has been through a lot, but I’ve never seen this kind of madness before.”
When it comes to tanks, “Russian or American, they burn just the same,” Milanovic said, noting that deliveries of armor to Ukraine – announced by the US and Germany this week – will only prolong the fighting,
“Those tanks may burn, or they may reach Crimea, but Croatia will have nothing to do with it,” he insisted. The social-democrat president has frequently clashed with the nationalist parliamentary majority over Croatia’s Ukraine policy. Just last month, Milanovic opposed Zagreb’s participation in the EU program to train Ukrainian troops, saying it clashed with Croatia’s constitution.
Unless the US and Russia are holding some kind of talks, the world is “slowly sliding into World War Three,” Milanovic added. “Some people think it has already begun, but I have my reservations.”