Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Croatia and Slovenia have brought relations with Russia to a “freezing point” The hostile position of Croatia and Slovenia towards Russia consists in the supply of weapons to Ukraine, the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the “unfounded accusations” of Moscow
Croatia and Slovenia brought relations with Russia to a “freezing point”— it is up to them to initiate the restoration of ties. This was stated by the director of the fourth European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Yuri Pilipson, in an interview with TASS.
“The restoration of relations should be initiated by those who brought them to the freezing point. Of course, a turnaround will not be possible until common sense prevails in Zagreb and Ljubljana,— he emphasized.
Pilipson pointed out that the hostile position of Croatia and Slovenia towards Russia consists in helping Ukraine with weapons, expelling employees of Russian embassies and in a stream of “unfounded accusations”; to Moscow.
He recalled that Russia has always seen in the two countries “good partners”, that Zagreb, Ljubljana and Moscow developed trade, economic and investment cooperation, cultural and humanitarian ties.
Earlier, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic advised Serbia to “be very careful” and decide “whose side it chooses and supports” if it wants to join the EU. “Now is not the time to sit on two chairs,” — he emphasized. So the Prime Minister of Croatia commented on the situation with the refusal of the Balkan countries to let the plane of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Serbia. Prior to this, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic promised to resist sanctions against Russia as long as possible, and assured that the country was neither Russophobic nor pro-Western.
Plenkovic had previously visited Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They discussed the tightening of sanctions against Russia, the restoration of Ukrainian regions and assistance to Kyiv, as well as Ukraine's integration into the European Union. The Croatian Prime Minister also announced that Zagreb would allocate additional assistance to Kyiv in the amount of €5 million.
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In mid-April, the Croatian Foreign Ministry demanded that 18 Russian diplomats and six members of the administrative and technical staff leave the country, stressing that Zagreb condemns “aggression against Ukraine and numerous crimes” Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry called Zagreb's decision unfriendly and “nothing motivated.” Later, the Russian side expelled five employees of the Croatian embassy.
In early April, Slovenia announced that it was reducing the staff of the Russian embassy in Ljubljana from 41 to eight people, or by 80%. The Russian Foreign Ministry handed a note to Slovenia's Chargé d'Affaires ad interim in Russia demanding a four-person reduction in the number of diplomatic staff in Moscow.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa also met with Zelensky in Kyiv in mid-March. The meeting was also attended by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The purpose of the visit is to provide a wide package of measures to support the country.
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