DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER REZNIKOV DISCUSSED COOPERATION WITH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF CROATIA MEDVED
In the framework of the working visit to Croatia, Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories met with Tomo Medved, Prime Minister of Croatia, Minister for Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.
Mr. Tomo Medved spoke about Operation Storm (Buria), the famous and most large-scale operation of the Croatian army and a symbol of the Croatian War for Independence, as well as the next steps in restoring Croatian sovereignty, a phase of peaceful reintegration.
The Prime Minister of Croatia noted that the restoration of the territory liberated from occupation was a great challenge for Croatia, because those territories were destroyed, from all infrastructure and housing to industrial facilities.
"One of the most difficult challenges was to explain to the people who lived in the context of occupation, that they are not a separate country, to explain that the war is over, to deal with the issues of rehabilitation, including psychological," said Mr. Tomo Medved.
He noted 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.
"The challenge for us is to achieve full integration, so that every person residing in Croatia would consider Croatia as their homeland. We control the border, we have restored territorial integrity, but the mental issue is not closed,” added Medved.
In turn, Oleksii Reznikov said that he was in solidarity with the Prime Minister of Croatia, because, according to the Ukrainian official, safe reintegration after the de-occupation of Ukrainian territories, Crimea and Donbas, and taking control over the border, will last at least one generation and it is at least 25 years.
"I have already said that the fates of our countries are similar. Croatia once faced aggression of its neighbour, and you still deal with the consequences of this aggression. We also have such a neighbour. Russian aggression began in 2014 with the occupation of Crimea and then continued with armed aggression in Donbas. They are waging a hybrid war against us for the seventh year already. And we must resist. The military is engaged in de-occupation, but in parallel our Ministry is pursuing the reintegration policy. We understand, as well as you in your time, that our citizens are there, and they should know that we have not abandoned them.
You have an experience which is vital for us. And we are very grateful to you that you agreed to share it with us," emphasized Oleksii Reznikov.
The Parties discussed the issues of social and psychological rehabilitation, humanitarian mine-clearance, restoration of infrastructure, implementation of the transition period and the like.
Oleksii Reznikov appealed to the officials of the Republic of Croatia with a request to help Ukraine in writing some principles of state policy of transitional justice.
Reznikov also invited Medved to visit Ukraine in person.
"I hope that Mr. Medved will visit Ukraine this year as a part of Croatian delegation headed by Andrej Plenkovic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia," added Reznikov.