ante kotromanović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/Tomislav Pavlek/tp

Outgoing Croatian Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic has said Croatia does not have negative comments on Serbia's announcements of possible procurement of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems S-300.

"Unlike Serbia which has condemned Croatia, we do not have negative comments on that. Serbia is a neighbour whom we appreciate and acknowledge, we wish them all the luck and wish to see their economy grow, but they need to let us do our job and take care of ourselves the way we see fit," Kotromanovic was cited by the Slobodna Bosna news portal as saying on Wednesday.

He reiterated that Serbian officials who now take issue with Croatia's plans to strengthen its defence capacities had an opportunity to show their peacemaking qualities during the 1990s wars and that today they were not entitled to lecture anyone.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in Belgrade earlier this week that Russia would consider Serbia's invitation to deliver the S-300 missile systems and try to support Serbia.

"I am glad that Serbia has revealed its true colours. It thinks that it will join the EU by cooperating with Russia. Hardly! Croatia's plans to advance its armed forces are part of the Joint European Security Policy," Kotromanovic said.

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