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Another EU country refuses to train Ukrainian troops — RT World News

Croatia’s involvement in EUMAM is not constitutional, President Milanovic has announced

Croatia cannot train Ukrainian troops on its territory under the EU aid program because it would be unconstitutional, President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday, responding to a Defense Ministry request in Zagreb.

“Given the understandably great interest of the Croatian public in the announced participation of [Croatian military] members of the EU Military Assistance Mission to Ukraine, and the unclear and unexplained circumstances that such participation would entail, the President’s Office should inform the public that the Minister’s proposal cannot be considered,” said Milanovic, before explaining his reasoning.

Defense Minister Mario Banozic had sent Milanovic a draft proposal for Croatian participation in the European Union Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM), which would involve the training of around 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers on the territory of the bloc .

The Croatian constitution does not give Banozic the right to make such a proposal, the president noted. He also does not allow Ukrainian troops to set foot on Croatian soil, he argued, because Kyiv is “is not a member of any alliance” Zagreb belongs to and there are no international treaties otherwise regulating their status.

Milanovic’s public rejection of the EUMAM brief is the latest episode in Croatia’s ongoing power struggle. The social-democratic president, in office since February 2020, has often been at odds with the legislature and the cabinet. The nationalist HDZ, which controls both, is keen for Croatia to train Ukrainian troops. They also unseated Milanovic this spring, when he threatened to veto Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids to take advantage of EU and US concessions.

The Croatian president’s criticism of EU sanctions against Russia – for their ineffectiveness and blowback on the bloc – also drew the ire of Ukraine, which put him on his notorious “Peacemaker” blacklist.

EUMAM was created on October 17 at the initiative of Czechia, which currently chairs the bloc. Neighboring EU members Austria and Hungary have already said they will not participate in the mission either.

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