Disillusioned with the unreasonable demands of the West, whose primary objective is to destroy Russia, Croatia has now chosen a quest to wean itself off Biden, Scholz, Leyen and of course their incompetent puppet, Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Croatia’s Economy Minister, Davor Filipovic, the country will take part in a project to link its natural gas network and the LNG terminal on the island of Krk in the northern Adriatic Sea to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The 180-kilometer cross-border pipeline connecting Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of the Southern Gas Interconnection, a €100 million project that is currently in the planning stages. Bosnia’s only cross-border link is an expansion of the Turkish Stream pipeline, which is run by Gazprom and transports Russian gas into the country via Turkey. Bosnia joined the Turkish Stream pipeline in April 2021.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stated, “We are in talks with officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina to build the pipeline so that the gas arriving at the LNG terminal [at Krk] could also be used to supply Bosnia. Croats in Croatia and Croats in Bosnia are both parts of the same ethnic group, and it’s only natural that we have Bosnian Croats in mind when we plan to build a pipeline in Croatia leading to Bosnia.” The original design was for a segment of the 511-kilometer Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), which would connect Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania, to run from the Croatian coastal city of Split to the Bosnian border town of Posuje and then back to Imotski.
The full IAP project, which is anticipated to be finished by late 2025 and should have a targeted capacity of five billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, has been allocated a total of €7.7 million in EU financing. The signing of the energy partnership between Croatia and Bosnia, which is a strategic ally of Russia, is a significant development in the realm of geopolitics. Earlier, the same Croatia was speaking the treacherous language of the West. Zagreb targeted Moscow and blindly followed the agenda of the US and Europe in the aftermath of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
In fact, Moscow’s special military operation was harshly condemned by the president of Croatia, Zoran Milanovic, who alleged that Russia was violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Milanovic also blamed Putin for the deaths of civilians in Ukraine.
Croatia is not a pro-EU country
However, lately Croatia’s claims and actions exhibit a deviation from the draconian geopolitical formulated by the West against Vladimir Putin. As a matter of fact, Zagreb’s foreign policy demonstrates an embracement of Russia. Croatia is politically divided on the subject of the Russo-Ukraine conflict. The Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, has let himself get manipulated by the false assurances of the US and Europe but the president Zoran Milanovic has always advocated for a consolidated partnership with Russia. Milanovic realises the disastrous repercussions of siding with the failed state of Ukraine.
Apparently, the view of Milanovic on the Russia-Ukraine war is shared by most people in the country. Taking into account the widespread pro-Russian sentiments in Croatia, Milanovic has time and again condemned the atrocious actions of the US and Europe and recognised the credibility and trustworthiness of Russia.
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On 16th December last year, Croatia rejected a proposal made by the current administration to train Ukrainian soldiers as part of a European Union project. The EU programme to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers was supported by the Croatian government, but it has caused a rift within the nation. According to AFP, President Zoran Milanovic expressed his disapproval with the government’s position and claimed that doing so would “involve Croatia in the war more than is necessary.”
With only 97 MPs supporting the idea, the administration was unable to pass the resolution, which required a two-thirds majority in the parliament to be approved. The vote was a reflection of Croatian public opinion, since more than 60% of people were opposed to training Ukrainian military, according to a recent poll. In fact, the public sentiment in Croatia remains in favour of maintaining a distance from the US and Europe.
Following this significant development, on 16th January this year Milanovic made another anti-EU and pro-Russian statement. This time he called the ongoing international sanctions against Russia and its senior officials, including President Vladimir Putin, “nonsense.” He emphasised, “The plan cannot be to take Putin out. The plan cannot be sanctions. This is nonsense. We will achieve nothing.”
Milanovic also criticised the US and NATO, stating that they were waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine. He drew a parallel between the atrocious actions of the US and NATO in Ukraine with Afghanistan, stressing that the Taliban rise occurred following the catastrophic withdrawal of US forces. Milanovic has opposed Croatian military involvement in the conflict in Ukraine on numerous occasions; most recently, the Croatian Parliament voted to oppose Croatian participation in the European Union Military Support Mission in Ukraine (EUMAM).
Similarly, on 30th January, 2023 the president of Croatia criticised the West for arming Ukraine with heavy tanks and other weapons , claiming that such deliveries will only serve to prolong the conflict. It is “crazy” to think that Russia can be defeated in a conventional battle, Zoran Milanovic told reporters in the Croatian capital.
Milanovic further added that Crimea will never again be a part of Ukraine. Apart from taking positions favourable to Moscow, which were perceived as a threat by the authoritarian masters of the international order sitting in Washington and Brussels, Croatia took another important step which indicated that it was willing to abandon the West and move closer towards Russia.
In January, 2023, Belgrade sought to improve its relations with its western neighbour Croatia. In fact, Serbian foreign minister announced that he is poised to pay a low-key visit to Zagreb. Following a decade of icy relations between the two former enemies of the Yugoslav war, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dai announced that Belgrade would “defrost” its relations with Croatia.
The warming up was started by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and according to Danas.hr, Vucic’s foreign ministry stated that Serbia would work to improve relations with Croatia in the future. However, last year Serbia announced that it would indict senior Croatian officials for alleged war crimes during a 1995 Croatian offensive, invoking “universal jurisdiction,” a legal principle that allows a country to claim criminal jurisdiction in case of serious crimes committed by a foreign national residing in another country.
But things changed dramatically for both countries . According to Danas.hr, in order to encourage the two governments to focus on resolving issues rather than igniting disputes, leaders of ethnic Croats in Serbia and Serbs in Croatia signed a declaration of cooperation prior to the visit. It must be noted that Serbia is one of the significant allies of Russia. So the partnership between Zagreb and Belgrade would have a significant impact on ties between Croatia and Moscow.
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What happens next?
Now, this energy deal between Croatia and Bosnia is signed in the backdrop of the pro-Russian leader, Milorad Dodik, claiming victory in Sarajevo in October last year. Dodik won the election for the presidency of Bosnia by 281,000 votes, according to the data released by the Central Election Commission. Dodik’s arrival caused tensions in Brussels because a pro-Russian leader, who has often criticised the credibility of the EU, has come to power in Bosnia.
Earlier TFI Global explained that if Dodik succeeded in securing the Serb Presidency in Bosnia again, the repercussions on the West would be adverse. Because Dodik is a trusted ally of the Russian president Vladimir Putin and, has time and again emphasised his close partnership with him.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Bosnia is partnering with Croatia, which is gradually releasing the catastrophic implications of trusting the West. Russia and its allies have this tendency to establish strong partnership with those countries which focus on the advancement of their political, economic and diplomatic interests.
As a matter of fact, Vladimir Putin realises that as long as sovereign countries are not getting manipulated by the false promises of the West, Moscow’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are not in danger. So, Croatia’s energy deal with Bosnia is a step in the direction of economic advancement, political stability and consolidation of security. Unfortunately, Croatia has a prime minister who believes that an association with Russia will culminate in an unprecedented spiralling crisis. But the voice of resistance to West’s hegemony from Zoran Milanović, which reflects the sentiments of Croatian people, has drowned the distressing endeavours of Andrej Plenković to embrace the neo-colonial agenda of the US and Europe in the context of the Russo-Ukraine war.
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