President worried about situation with Croatian MiG-21 aircraft

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Tuesday she was worried about what she had heard concerning the state of Croatian MiG 21 combat aircraft.

Jutarnji List daily said today that the Military Police were conducting a big investigation into the overhaul of Croatia's MiG-21 combat aircraft in Ukraine due to irregularities and suspicion of corruption. In July 2015, Ukraine delivered 12 overhauled aircraft to the Croatian Air Force and after eight months it has only three at its disposal, as five have been withdrawn, the daily said.

Asked about the state of MiG-21 combat aircraft, Grabar-Kitarovic said at this moement she could not give a concrete answer, adding however, that the situation worried her.

"Today I met with the defence minister and other senior officials. We are talking about it, we are following the developments and of course we are waiting for the results of the investigation, but I have to say I am worried about what I have heard," Grabar-Kitarovic said.

Earlier today, the Defence Ministry said the Military Security and Intelligence Agency and the Military Police had recently found out that it was necessary to re-examine the overhaul and procurement of MiG-21 aircraft, adding that tasks were being performed with existing resources and that Croatia's airspace was under control and safe.

The ministry said it would continue to act in line with the valid legislation and the demands of relevant state bodies because of serious indications of worrying actions which could affect Croatia's defence capability.

The defence minister, in coordination with the army chief-of-staff, set up an expert task force to examine if the said aircraft were technically serviceable and could be used, the ministry said, adding that the commission proposed measures that need to be taken.

Last update: Tue, 22/03/2016 - 20:06

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