Croatia and Serbia Clash Over Stance on Ukraine Conflict

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.26 - 2024 12:59 PM CET

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Amid a heated diplomatic row, Croatia rebuffs Serbia's accusation of meddling, urging Belgrade to align with the EU's stance against Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

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Croatia's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has dismissed Serbia's claims that it's interfering in its internal matters. This comes amid a dispute over Serbia's position on Russia's conflict in Ukraine, reported by HRT.

The disagreement sparked after Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman urged Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to clearly pick a side, labeling him a "satellite of Russia."

Croatia's foreign ministry stressed that Minister Radman was pointing out Serbia's failure to follow the EU's stance on Russia's actions against Ukraine.

"It is not possible to be an EU membership candidate and enjoy its benefits while failing to condemn Russian aggression and follow related EU policy," said the Croatian Foreign Ministry.

Calls for EU Alignment and Serbia's Response

The ministry also accused Serbia of systematically ignoring the truth about the situation in Ukraine.

"The European family values respect for the international order, which Russia's aggression against Ukraine has violated. We urge Serbia to align its policies with the EU's common foreign and security policy on Ukraine's aggression as soon as possible. The EU stands on the right side of history," the Croatian ministry added.

Serbia responded with a protest note to Croatia after the Croatian Foreign Minister called Vučić a "Russian satellite" in the Balkans. The Croatian minister challenged Vučić to choose between Russia and the European Union, emphasizing the impossibility of straddling both sides.

Serbian President Vučić expressed strong displeasure, accusing the Croatian minister of lying, insulting Serbia, and threatening its people. Serbia has remained opposed to joining Western sanctions against Russia and has been criticized for allowing Russian propaganda to spread in the Balkans.

EU officials have made it clear that Serbia needs to align its policies with the EU to join, cautioning against growing Russian influence.