It is difficult to say at this point when we could expect progress on the case of the Croatian national who has been taken prisoner by Russian forces in Ukraine, Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Sunday.
“Croatia is doing and will continue to do all it can. The situation is difficult in that he was arrested by Russian forces. We have sought information through our diplomatic service and will continue following this case, seeking answers to the questions, first of all those asked by his family. That is our obligation under the constitution and law,” Bozinovic told the press in Zagreb.
The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said on Saturday that a Croatian national had been taken prisoner in Ukraine and that it was dealing with the case in cooperation with Ukrainian authorities. Russian media said that “a Croatian mercenary” had been captured in Mariupol.
“Considering the circumstances, at this point, I cannot predict when we could expect any progress,” Bozinovic said.
He said that any Croatian nationals who may be fighting in that war are doing that at their own risk and that the Croatian government is not involved in it in any way.
Commenting on today’s visit to Ukraine by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman, Bozinovic said: “I think this visit is a strong gesture of statesmanship and a sign of support to Ukraine that has been going on since the first day of the Russian aggression.”
The visit came nearly two and a half months after Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
“I don’t think this visit by the Croatian prime minister differs in any way from visits made by several prime ministers a while ago, by the UN secretary-general, the US secretaries of state and defence, and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission,” Bozinovic said, adding that the visit was organised in the same way as other such visits given the security situation in Ukraine.
He recalled that Croatia had sent various types of aid to Ukraine and pledged to send €5 million in aid at a donors’ conference in Warsaw on Thursday and that more than 17,000 Ukrainians have found refuge in Croatia.