Krsticevic: Serbia's decision to ban me is unjustified

NEWS 26.04.2018 13:01
Source: N1

Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic commented for N1 the Thursday's decision by the Serbian government to declare him a persona non grata, in the latest development of an ongoing diplomatic row with Croatia.

“Me and Minister Vulin, we belong to two different worlds. I am focused on developing and strengthening the Croatian armed forces, and improving the security system in the interest of Croatia. In my job I am always guided by values, my responsibilities, and what’s most important, the principle that I would never do to others what I wouldn’t want others to do to me. That was my view during the (1991-95) independence war, and after my retirement, and when I worked in the private sector, and today as Defence Minister,” Krsticevic told N1.

Belgrade had announced earlier this week it would match Croatia’s decision to ban Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin from entering the country over his remarks which Zagreb interpreted as offensive to Croatia’s sovereignty.

“Our decision, the state’s decision (against Vulin) was justified. That was our reponse to provocations by Mr Vulin, and any modern country which protects its sovereignty, dignity and national interests would do the same. I never offended anyone. I never said anything that wasn’t true, I never went to Serbia or said anything bad. This decision is not justified, it’s a decision made by the Serbian government, I can deal with it, but I think this decision speaks much more about them,” Krsticevic added.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic had commented on the row earlier on Thursday and said that although “Croatia is open for dialogue, it is also firmly determined to protect its dignity and national interest”.

Croatian Foreign Ministry had issued a protest note to the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb, in which it condemned Vulin’s earlier statement that the decision on him coming to Croatia can “only be made by the Serbian Army Commander-in-Chief, Aleksandar Vucic, rather than Croatian government ministers.”

In its note, the Ministry said that “referring to the Serbian Army Commander-in-Chief, Aleksandar Vucic, as the person to decide whether anyone can or cannot come to Croatia is an inappropriate and unacceptable attempt to deny Croatia’s sovereignty.” The Croatian government then declared Vulin a persona non grata, banning him from entering the country.

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