The Croatian parliamentary opposition was divided on Tuesday on whether Sweden and Finland's NATO accession should be made conditional on changes to Bosnia and Herzegovina's election law, which is what President Zoran Milanovic advocates.
Most party MP Zvonimir Troskot said his party supports a single approach to NATO’s security policy.
“If a NATO security issue is dealt with in the north of Europe, we don’t see why it should not be dealt with in the south of Europe as well,” he said.
“This is one way of showing our allies and the EU that we do not agree with Germany’s foreign policy, which undermines the Dayton agreement,” Trskot added.
Sandra Bencic of the Green-Left Bloc said that her group would make a decision on how it would vote on Finland and Sweden’s NATO accession at a meeting of its leadership but noted that linking the two countries’ accession to NATO with the issue of BiH’s election law was not the right way to go.
“One should at least try to amend the Dayton agreement to ensure the equality of all citizens and, if all peoples elect their representatives, to enable the Croat people in BiH to be able to do so as well, but that cannot be done by linking that issue with questions that are really not related to it,” she said.
Bencic said this should be done through diplomatic channels, noting that the problem cannot be resolved without a discussion on the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its EU integration and ways to ensure the equality of all BiH citizens.
Marko Milanovic-Litre of the right-wing Croatian Sovereignists said it was crazy that the president of the republic was overstepping his powers and trying to impose a narrative under which Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO was contrary to efforts to resolve the issue of BiH’s election law.
He said Milanovic’s behaviour was irresponsible and that his and PM Plenkovic’s quarrels were “an ego trip.”
Milanovic-Litre said there was no reason for the Croatian Sovereignists not to support Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession, adding that one should also consider Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
Katarina Peovic of the left-wing Workers’ Front said that the issue was yet another “non-topic” introduced by the president in the public sphere.
The Workers’ Front has always been against NATO, she said.
“We have always been critical of NATO and militarisation of society so inadvertently, we will be on the president’s side. We are not interested in the conflict which he is escalating but are strongly critical of any further NATO enlargement,” Peovic said.