UKRAINE NEEDS ITS OWN MODEL OF SAFE REINTEGRATION
Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine came up to this conclusion with the authors and organizers of the state policy of peaceful reintegration of the occupied territories of the Republic of Croatia at a meeting in Zagreb.
The participants to the meeting from the Croatian side: Josko Moric, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia from 1991 to 2000, member of the State Commission for UNPROFOR, Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for the Implementation of the Program for the Establishment of Confidence, Accelerated Return and Normalization of Life in the War-Affected Areas of the Republic of Croatia (1998);
Ivica Kostovych, academician, Director of the Institute for Brain Research, former Deputy Head of the Rehabilitation HQ of the Republic of Croatia from 1991 to 1995;
Mate Granic, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia from July 31, 1991 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from June 1 1993 to January 27, 2000, acting Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia; Vishnia Mishyn, journalist and special correspondent for the state television and radio channel CRT from 1991 to 1998 covering the process of peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region.
Lovre Pejkovic, former Head of the Center for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees;
Vesna Skare Ozbolt was the moderator of the meeting. At the end of the 1990s, she conducted negotiations that led to the peaceful integration of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Syrmia into Croatia, she was a former Commissioner of the President of the Republic of Croatia for the peaceful reintegration of the Danube region. She is what Croatia calls the person who led to the reintegration.
"Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us, because the purpose of our visit is to gain experience on peaceful reintegration. Both achievements and mistakes of Croatia are vital for us, because each mistake taken into account is a saved life. Our Ministry is about people and for people. Reintegration itself is about people, not just territory. We have 420 000 participants in the combat actions. As a result, more than 1.5 million of our citizens went through the war in one way or another. Peace is the number one issue for Ukraine, but certainly not peace at all costs. And safe reintegration is not only about the need to return the occupied territories, it is about the presence of red lines, which we will never cross," emphasized Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine.
Croatian friends told about the key components of safe reintegration: demilitarization and security, introduction of transition period, ensuring renewal of property rights, social and humanitarian policy, establishment of the forms of government in all territories, reconciliation between the civilians.
Special attention was paid to the issues of information policy, noting that ensuring information sovereignty and production of correct information policy is a big step on the way to safe reintegration.
In his turn, Reznikov added that the issue of ensuring sustainable information sovereignty is still open for Ukraine.
In the framework of communication, the Ukrainian and Croatian delegations came to the conclusion that the Croatian experience of safe reintegration may become a basis for Ukrainian, but the model of such reintegration in Ukraine must be its own.
Croatia provided a number of recommendations, including on IDPs, political settlement and the like.
The parties also separately discussed transition period issues, in particular the principles to which Croatia adhered. The Croatian side noted the need to adopt legislation on accountability and amnesty, emphasizing that all perpetrators of war crimes should be brought to justice.
Oleksii Reznikov also asked his Croatian colleagues to share their experiences.
It should be noted that during this meeting, the experts stressed that, after 25 years, the reintegration process in Croatia is still incomplete and is still ongoing.
Let us recall that Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories in the framework of a working visit to the Republic of Croatia met with Tomo Medved, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, and Minister for Veterans Affairs.
Medved reported that due to a diplomatic approach, among other things, Croatia was able to introduce a peaceful reintegration, although this process is very long-term, so far it is still ongoing and full integration is a challenge for Croatia.