Croatian President Zoran Milanović has scolded Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock for claiming Europe is now at war with Russia, calling her remarks a “kind of madness.”
During a visit to the port city of Split, Milanović claimed Europe’s apparent declaration of war on Russia was news to him and confirmed that Croatia would in “no way” be dragged into what he referred to as a “proxy war” between NATO and Russia.
The Croatian president then wished Germany, tongue in cheek, better luck this time around following its previous attempt to defeat the Soviet Union in World War II.
“The German foreign minister says we must be united, because I quote, we are at war with Russia. I didn’t know that,” Milanović said. “Maybe Germany is at war with Russia, but then, good luck. Maybe this time it turns out better than 70-odd years ago,” he quipped.
The Croatian president expressed his surprise at Baerbock’s comments, claiming the foreign minister is the leader of a German Green party that used to promote pacifism; he then questioned whether her inflammatory remarks were an attempt to undermine Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“If we are at war with Russia, then let’s see what we need to do. But we won’t ask Germany for its opinion,” Milanović said.
“Let them figure out who is the actual chancellor over there. I’ve been in politics for a long time, and our country has been through a lot, but I’ve never seen this kind of madness before,” he added.
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Milanović has been highly critical of the approach taken by Western allies during the Ukrainian conflict, calling sanctions against Russia “absurd” and vowing not to be a “slave to America” by complying with the typical response of many other NATO members.
In his most recent remarks, the Croatian president claimed the provision of Western battle tanks to Kyiv will only prolong the war.
“Russian or American, they burn just the same,” Milanović said of the tanks. “Those tanks may burn, or they may reach Crimea, but Croatia will have nothing to do with it,” he added.
Milanovic’s attitude to the remarks by the German foreign minister was echoed in Hungary with Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó telling reporters on Thursday, “We are not at war with anybody, we do not want to be at war with anybody.
“We want to stay out of this war, and the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people is the most important thing for us.”