There can be no stability in Europe, Western Europe, or the EU, without Russia - and it is necessary to reach an agreement with that country, Croatian President, Zoran Milanovic, told reporters on Tuesday, before going on to accuse the West of "mongering for a war" that he said he hoped would not break out.
“I don’t want even one Ukrainian to be killed, even one Russian. As for Croatians – not a chance,” he told the press.
“There is no European stability, no Western European stability, European Union stability without Russia in the equation and it’s necessary to reach an agreement with Russia,” he added.
After telling a female journalist that a head of state does not meet with visiting defence ministers, including the British defence secretary who was in Zagreb today, Milanovic said she probably wanted to ask him for a comment on Great Britain’s stand on Ukraine.
“Everything he is doing is mostly motivated by his political situation at home,” he said about Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In Great Britain, there are more and more calls on Johnson to resign over Downing Street parties during a strict Covid lockdown.
Milanovic accused Britain of “mongering” and said that pushing Ukraine towards a confrontation with Russia was “irresponsible.”
“Ukraine will not make itself happy if it listens to London. They are pushing them into a very dangerous adventure and President (Volodymyr) Zelensky has realized this. What I have been hearing from Kyiv in the past few days is very sensible and responsible towards one’s own state.”
Milanovic has been criticized after saying recently that Ukraine does not belong in NATO, that it is corrupt, and that Croatian soldiers will not be killed there. The Croatian ambassador in Kyiv was summoned for talks after those statements.
Milanovic said today that he was Ukraine’s friend and that it was very irresponsible to mislead a state, which he said had difficult problems, was not progressing towards EU membership and was stagnating, and hold it hostage to London and Washington.
He also said that the EU was sending Ukraine confusing messages. “To stand in solidarity with Ukraine and say ‘we support you, clash with Russia’ is irresponsible, villainous.”
Milanovic said one should not foment arguments that Russia will attack Ukraine tomorrow. “If it attacks them, one should ask who is responsible for that.”
“The Croatian soldier will not move from here,” he added.