Analysis 18 Oct 17

Croatia President May Face Tough Questions in Russia

When President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic meets Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday, she may face a grilling over past statements seen as hostile to Russia.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Vladimir Putin. Photo: Office of the Croatian President/Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

As Croatia’s President, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, prepares to visit Russian’s President, Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday, she may have some tough questions to answer about past initiatives and statements that are widely seen as anti-Russian.

Grabar Kitarovic is visiting Putin at his luxury residence in Sochi on the Black Sea in a bid to rebuild frayed relations with a country that opposed Croatian independence in the 1990s and remains a steadfast ally of Serbia’s.

She is the first Croatian President to visit Russia since Franjo Tudjman in 1999.

Dejan Jovic, a political sciences professor in Zagreb, told BIRN she could face awkward moments over various “anti-Russian statements in her public speeches”, also noting that she is linked to the US-backed “Three Seas Initiative”, which gathers several states between the Adriatic, Baltic and the Black Seas.

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