Croatian troops will participate in four multinational battalions that NATO will deploy in Eastern Europe, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said in Warsaw on Friday.
"We will contribute to these battalions with Croatian troops. It was decided that Croatia would actively assist with its troops in Eastern Europe," said Kovac, who is part of the Croatian delegation headed by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic attending a NATO summit in Warsaw.
Asked about the number of Croatian troops to be deployed, Kovac said that President Grabar-Kitarovic and Defence Minister Josip Buljevic would talk about that later.
"Four multinational battalions will each consist of 600 to 1,000 people and will be commanded by Great Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States. They will be deployed in three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - and in Poland."
They will be filled on a rotating basis and Croatian troops will not be deployed that soon, at least not before 2017 or early 2018. It is in the parliament's remit to decide on the deployment of Croatian troops.
"Wherever our troops have been present we have been exemplary, firstly in Afghanistan where we did a lot and there is no doubt that in Eastern Europe we will be of assistance and constructive too," Kovac said.
He underscored that Croatia strongly contributed to NATO, particularly concerning Southeast Europe and had and would advocate enlarging the zone of stability and security. In that regard, he announced that Croatia would soon ratify the protocol on Montenegro's accession to the alliance. He added that it was in Croatia's interest for Bosnia and Herzegovina to embark on the path of NATO integration and for that country to activate its Membership Action Plan (MAP) as soon as possible.