Croatia and the West Balkan region: Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić on a joint mission to (de)stabilize the region

Posted on Oktober 5, 2017 von




Croatia and the West Balkan region: Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić on a joint mission to (de)stabilize the region

The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. IFIMES has prepared an analysis of the situation in view of destructive actions and politics led by the President of the Republic of Croatia  Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović that are threatening regional peace and stability, and examined their consequences the region, for the EU and for Croatia. The most relevant and interesting sections from the analysis entitled “Croatia and the West Balkan region:Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić on a joint mission to (de)stabilize the region” are published below.

Croatia and the West Balkan region:


Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić on a joint mission to (de)stabilize the region


For the past few months, President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (HDZ) has been intensively shifting Croatia’s inner political problems as well as her personal political conflicts and ambitions to the foreign-political field, thus causing destabilisation of the West Balkan region and consequently threatening the EU security and defence system.


In Serbia, the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić (SNS) won his inter-party war for supremacy over Tomislav Nikolić (SNS), who was the most recent President of the Republic of Serbia. President Grabar-Kitarović is still in constant conflict with the key officials from Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and she has extended this conflict also to her relations with the Government of the Republic of Croatia. The problems stem from the internal political restructuring of HDZ and the preparations for the next general election in Croatia. President Grabar-Kitarović is sparing no effort to gain the absolute dominant position in HDZ and to ensure her candidacy at 2019 presidential election in Croatia. Her conflict with the incumbent Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković (HDZ) is only the tip of the iceberg of political frictions and interparty tensions within HDZ.

Croatian President became a hostage to certain lobbies?

In order to gain political points within HDZ Grabar-Kitarović has escalated tensions with the neighbouring countries by opening political issues that have not been subject to any political consensus between Croatia and other countries, as well as by direct interference in the inner political affairs of those countries. Regrettably, Prime Minister Plenković has often tried to copy her irrational and perilous foreign (in) security policy, thus further aggravating the damage caused by actions led by Grabar-Kitarović. The so-called generals lobby and (again) the Herzegovinian lobby play an important role in inner political restructuring – not only in HDZ but also in other political parties. Grabar-Kitarović is trying to establish “close cooperation” with the above stated lobbies which have existed since the time of the first President of the Republic of Croatia Franjo Tuđman (HDZ) and have shown intemperance when it comes to power and brutality when it comes to disintegrating Bosnia and Herzegovina with the formation and revitalisation of the para-state known as the so-called Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. This close cooperation between Grabar-Kitarović and the above stated lobbies has brought numerous results, such as  the appointment of Daniel Markić as director of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) on proposal of general Ante Gotovina, establishment of personal connections and relations with the controversial Zdravko Mamić, and constant pressures on the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, EU and NATO to implement the federalisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and/or to make changes to the election law in order to formally establish the (extinguished) para-state of Herceg-Bosna. In the future those lobbies will obviously be assessed and valorised based on the “who gives more” principle. Thus the incumbent Vice Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the Republic of Croatia general Damir Krstičević (HDZ) has already been mentioned as the potential candidate for the next president of the Republic of Croatia. The latest statement by retired Admiral of Croatian Navy Davor Domazet-Loša that Croatian infantry could reach Ljubljana in 48 hours represents another proof that the so called generals lobby has been reactivated in Croatia and that President Grabar-Kitarović deserves most credit for Croatia’s regression to the rigid policy that once almost brought Croatia into isolation from the international community and which is partly the subject of pending court proceedings or judgements made by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague .


It is known that former President of the Republic of Croatia (2000-2010) Stjepan Mesić sent to retirement war generals who had become “a state within the state”. Now the incumbent government has re-mobilised them; thus the recent dismissal of retired Admiral Domazet-Loše reminds of the dismissal of HDZBiH chairman and president of the so-called Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna Mate Boban (HDZBiH) by Franjo Tuđman due to pressures of the international community and his responsibility for destroying the Stari most (the Old Bridge) in Mostar. In the attachment to this analysis it is shown how Franjo Tuđman used his generals and especially General Ljubo Ćesić-Rojs (HDZ) who – by Tuđman’s order – secretly sent a report from the 5th HDZBiH Assembly in Mostar on 6 May 1998 which contained his proposals and assessments that were later accepted and implemented by Tuđman (see Attachment No. 1 to this analysis).

Croatia uses EU and NATO to destabilise BiH and the region

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has dedicated most of her professional career to foreign policy, serving for Croatia as well as for international organisations, including NATO. She was elected President of the Republic of Croatia on account of her international experiences and connections, as the voters believed they could trust someone who understands the functioning of the international politics and would therefore integrate Croatia as soon as possible into the western civilizational systems of political, economic and security values. Unfortunately Grabar-Kitarović blended with lightning speed in Croatian daily political games and succumbed to the structures that still dream about the so-called Greater Croatia project, siding with (post)war lobbies and triggering security problems at the regional and European levels.


Unlike Aleksandar Vučić who will have to spend his whole term of office as President of the Republic of Serbia pretending he advocates and promotes the European and western values while developing close ties with Russia and with Serbian war profiteering structures, Grabar-Kitarović plays the opposite role in Croatia where she has to pretend to be more of a patriot than the “Father of the Nation”, late President Tuđman.


Analysts have noted that the above actions of Croatian and Serbian presidents may have dangerous repercussions and effects on regional and European security and stability. Both states aim to destabilise Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the matrix set by late presidents Franjo Tuđman and Slobodan Milošević (SPS): Vučić by supporting the separatist tendency of the President of the Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik (SNSD) who is also referred to as the “new Radovan Karadžić”, and Grabar-Kitarović by supporting treacherous and hypocritical politics of HDZBiH leader and member of BiH Presidency representing the Croatian nationals Dragan Čović (HDZBiH) which resembles the past politics of the Hague convict Jadranko Prlić (HDZBiH).


Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić are both in their own way jointly responsible for disagreements and conflicts with  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Hungary, Kosovo, Romania, Albania and even Italy, while  direct relations between Croatia and Serbia are constantly marked by war rhetoric with an emphasis on the last regional war and World War II.


Analysts have noted that the war profiteering structures acting together with Croatian and Serbian presidents represent a great danger for peace in the region, especially bearing in mind that Grabar-Kitarović formally represents the Euro-Atlantic aspirations (EU and NATO) while Vučić is oriented towards Russia and its interests in the West Balkans. Croatia is using her EU membership to realise its specific nationalistic tendencies in the region, notably regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, while trying to “Croationalise” its NATO membership, ignoring the fact that NATO is a transnational organisation for collective defence and security. Analysts believe that the EU and NATO officials should be further warned of Croatia’s past and potential future misuses of EU and NATO membership for the realisation of its politics from the recent past which are the subject of pending court proceedings or judgements made by the Hague International Criminal Tribunal.

Saving the dead Tuđmanj


Posted in: Balkan