|Croatian President's Address to the Parliament|
Record of the Press Conference of the President
of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman
December 1, 1995.
INTERNATIONAL POSITION OF CROATIA
|Press Conference of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman, |
December 1, 1995
Dunja Ujevic (Hrvatski Obzor weekly):
Mr. President, the Croatian public is somewhat apprehensive that this untidy composition of Bosnia might produce a situation resembling the former state of affairs - i.e., that it might be a form used to keep the three peoples in check, to try to force them into a link-up ber than that resulting from so-called normalization. That is, into a kind of Yugoslavization. The recent statement of an eminent Croatian economist on Croatian TV - whose answer to the question "who will Serbia sell its products to?" was "why, to Croatia" - followed the same line. What products could Serbia sell to Croatia?
President dr Franjo Tudjman:
Why don't you ask what Croatia could sell to Serbia? It is generally known that Croatia was industrially more developed from the very first day of its union with the South Slav brethren, from 1918 to date; therefore, those who created the union also had in mind the benefits Croatia would gain from that less developed market.
However, a certain apprehension about such Yugoslavization is justified. All those factors in European and global politics who were interested in the creation of Yugoslavia at Versailles after World War One, all those who were very much interested in preserving Yugoslavia in recent days, have not disappeared from the political, economic and diplomatic scene even when the official policy of these most important international factors changed for practical reasons. As you have seen, even after Croatia established its reputation with its order, sovereignty, its force, after it was recognized as a regional power without which no issue could be resolved, even after that we have seen ideas about a Yugoslav confederation, Balkan confederation, South European union and, the latest, originating from Italian media, about 'Euroslavia', meant to link this region to Europe in such a way. These are lasting elements of a geopolitical approach which, for certain circles in the West and in the world, needs such an agglomeration, such a grouping in the region because of relations within Europe, with Russia, with Islam etc.
Such components of European and global policy will still be present, and Croatian policy must be aware of them. However, and that is essential, Croatian state policy must not permit any solutions contrary to vital Croatian interests. Croatia must remain b to withstand the imposition of any solutions against its will.
First of all, I think that the general circumstances in the former Yugoslavia and internationally are such that those who, as you say, might reject the agreement, will be forced to accept a peaceful solution in their own interest, because everyone involved in the international scene operates in his own interest and not against it. This is why I believe there will be no new 'lightnings' or 'storms', not because we would like to avoid them at any cost: if Croatia's interests so required, we would indeed resort to them. But, if we can save thousands of lives, avoid thousands and thousands being wounded and the destruction of Croatian cities, if we can contribute to the aspirations of Europe and of the democratic world focused on peace and on the establishment of a new order, then Croatia will also contribute to the achievement of this goal with its principled policy supporting peace, and readiness to normalization of relations and cooperation with its neighbours and past enemies, because no enmity is everlasting. Just look at Europe during World War Two and today. Therefore, with such a policy supporting normalization, cooperation, and friendship with other peoples and States, but also with the resolve to have its armed force capable of defending its interests, and even impose solutions in the absence of an alternative, Croatia has become not only a recognized but also a respected partner even of the major European, and global superpowers. This, I believe, is the guarantee of our capability to defend Croatian national interests with regard to all outstanding issues.