Either the West or the High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina will force Sarajevo to agree to changes to the BiH election law, or Croatia will block Finland's and Sweden's NATO path, President Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday, adding that he is defending vital Croatian interests.
Yesterday, he said the Croatian parliament must not ratify anyone's accession to NATO before the election law in BiH was changed and that the accession of Finland and Sweden was a “very dangerous adventure.”
Speaking to the press today, Milanovic criticised Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman's statement that Croatian diplomats must again “control the damage” done by him.
Milanovic said Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was unclear yesterday by not taking a clear stand on his initiative that Croatia, as a NATO member state, block the accession of Sweden and Finland until the West forced the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) to agree to changes to BiH's election law, which is detrimental to local Croats.
“Either the West will force (SDA president Bakir) Izetbegovic so that a civilised solution is adopted in line with (the) Dayton (peace agreement), which will make it impossible to steal votes from Croats, to elect to the House of Peoples non-Croats with votes of non-Croats… or the High Representative to BiH Christian Schmidt will order that it be implemented.”
Schmidt has Bonn powers allowing him to impose laws.
Milanovic then accused Plenkovic of tricks. “He didn't say that he would go to Brussels to a NATO summit only to prevent the damage the president of Croatia is doing, or he should have said that he agreed with me.”
“He didn't say anything, typical UDBA tricks,” he said, referring to the Yugoslav-era secret police UDBA.
“Croatia comes first. Enough with Croatia being belittled, robbed, harassed,” Milanovic said.
If the BiH election law is not changed “by the end of the year… I will do everything so that the NATO accession of (Sweden and Finland) does not pass in the Croatian parliament,” he said, although aware that this will be difficult as the ruling HDZ will not vote for such a blockade.
“We'll see how willing these people are to crush Croatian interests for their petty, careerist, cowardly ambitions… Let the whole HDZ be against it.”
Milanovic said he had nothing against Finland and Sweden, but that he wanted to protect the interests of Croats in BiH.
“I'm doing this reluctantly, but I have no choice” because of the SDA, the “colonial administration in BiH”, he said, the latter referring to the Office of the High Representative. He added that despite his Bonn powers to decide on everything, Schmidt was keeping quiet about BiH's election law.
“My job would be to protect Croatian people even if the Croatian Constitution did not say so,” he said, because those are “vital Croatian interests.”
“I am the president of the Croatian national state,” he added.