Croatian president slams Western arms to Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News
President Zoran Milanovic has repeatedly criticized Western policies towards Russia and the Balkans.
The Croatian president on Monday criticized Western countries for supplying Ukraine with heavy tanks and other weapons as part of its campaign against invading Russian troops, saying those arms deliveries would only prolong the war.
Zoran Milanovic told reporters in the Croatian capital that it was “crazy” to believe that Russia could be defeated in a conventional war.
“I am against sending deadly weapons there,” Milanovic said. “It prolongs the war.”
“What is the purpose? The collapse of Russia, the change of power? There is also talk of tearing Russia apart. This is crazy,” he said.
“It is clear that Crimea will never again be part of Ukraine,” Milanovic added.
The Croatian president was elected in 2019 as a left-wing liberal candidate opposed to the conservative government currently in power in the European Union and NATO member state.
But he has since turned to populist nationalism and criticized Western policies towards Russia and the Balkans.
Milanović has developed a reputation for being pro-Russian, which he has repeatedly denied.
However, in recent months he has openly spoken out against the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO, as well as against the training of Ukrainian troops in Croatia as part of EU aid to the war-torn country.
After months of hesitation, the United States said last week it would send 31 of its 70-ton Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, while Germany announced it would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks and allow other countries to do the same.
Milanovic said that “From 2014 to 2022, we are watching someone provoke Russia with the intention of starting this war.”
“What is the purpose of this war? A war against a nuclear power that is fighting in another country? Is there a conventional way to defeat such a country?” Milanovic asked on Monday.
“Who pays the price? Europe. America pays the least,” he said. “A year has passed and we are only now talking about tanks,” Milanovic said.
“Not a single American tank will go to Ukraine in a year. Only German tanks will be sent there.”
Although the presidency in Croatia is largely ceremonial, Milanović is formally the supreme commander of the armed forces.
His latest anti-Western outbursts have embarrassed and angered the country’s government, which fully supports Ukraine.