Defense minister says Vucic will be "welcomed by Ustashas"

Croatian politicians are reacting to Aleksandar Vulin, who says Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will be "welcomed by Ustashas" when he visits Croatia.

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(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Vulin, Serbia's defense minister, also said that he was "not sure that Ustashism was making a return in Croatia - because Ustashism and Ustashas never left Croatia's politics and public life."

The Ustasha regime was in power in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), a Nazi allied WW2 entity that operated death camps for Serbs, Jews, and Roma.

Speaking for Pink TV, Vulin repeated that he was against Vucic's visit to Zagreb next week:

"I said I thought he shouldn't go there, he made the decision and there's nothing left to debate. Look how they will welcome him - Ustashas will gather in squares and demonstrate against his visit, as if he begged to come, as if his visit could bring some evil."

"It can only bring good," the minister continued. "What can you say to people like that. Because he's a Serb who has the courage to say, 'we are Serbs and we have our interests, and we will defend the Serbs who live in the area of Croatia, and don't rejoince, you won't be repeating (Operation) Storm' - for that they call him arrogant and that's why he's the worst."

Soon after, reactions started arriving from Zagreb.

"That's a statement that certainly does not contribute to a positive environment that should be related to Serbian President Vucic's visit," Croatian parliament speaker Gordan Jadronkovic said, according to Croatian website Dnevnik.

"These are signals that are destructive and can ruin all the efforts that have been made so far for the meeting (between presidents) to happen at all, and for it to produce a certain positive result. It is a job that the president of Serbia himself should do because Vulin is his close associate - he should tell his associates to watch what they're saying," Jadronkovic added.

The head of the HDZ parliamentary club, Branko Bacic, said that Vucic should have reacted to "the mythomanical statements" coming from "his ministers Dacic and Vulin."

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