After a session of the Cabinet, Prime Minister Plenković informed the Croatian public about the agreement reached with the American side regarding the purchase of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reminded that these are armored combat vehicles for the Croatian Army and are part of the cooperation program between the USA and Croatia, which was launched in 2017.
Increased U.S. donation
“In line with the goals and commitments as one of the allies in the North Atlantic Alliance, Croatia’s ambition is to have a medium-infantry brigade by 2026, and to meet that goal we need our army to have the appropriate equipment and Bradley combat vehicles.” said the prime minister.
” The total value of this program is $ 196.4 million. At an earlier stage, the U.S. offer was that their donation would be $ 45 million. Through talks in recent weeks, we have agreed that the US donation will be $ 51.1 million. Therefore, the US donation to Croatia is 6 million dollars higher in this business related to the Bradleys “, Plenković continued, adding that the payment from the Croatian side will be lower by six million dollars.
“The total payment of the Croatian side will be 145.3 million dollars,” he said.
When it comes to vehicles, the Prime Minister clarified that the previous agreement was 62 combat vehicles, five for training and 17 vehicles used for repairs, spare parts. “All in all, earlier the offer was 84,” he added.
“Of the 62 vehicles that would be in use after the modernization, in the previous offer, only 28 were fully equipped. After the talks we had in recent weeks, all 62 combat vehicles will be modernized and equipped at the same level,” the president continued. Government.
“Additionally, we have provided $ 11 million in donations from the United States to be used for this modernization. Instead of, initially, 17 spare parts vehicles, we will have 22 spare parts vehicles, so we have raised the total from 84 to 89 ”. , the Prime Minister pointed out.
He explained that the equipment would include a 25-millimeter automatic cannon, a 7.62-caliber machine gun and anti-tank missiles.
Đuro Đaković could become a service center for a wider range of activities
“In this way, the Croatian Army will gain new quality in the next few years and be much better equipped to fulfill its tasks,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
He added that, in addition, the modernization of vehicles will take place in Slavonski Brod, in the company Đuro Đaković Special Vehicles. “In cooperation with the American-British corporation BAE, they will be in charge of modernizing the vehicles after they are transported from the USA to Croatia,” Plenković said.
“Croatia’s strategic goal of strengthening allied, partnership and friendly relations with the United States has been met. The second goal, specifically regarding the vehicles themselves, we got an agreement that includes a lower price for Croatia, a larger US donation, full equipment of 62 vehicles plus 22 instead of 17 vehicles for spare parts and secured jobs in the coming years for Đuro Đaković Special vehicles this way, and through systematic cooperation with the US, could become a service center and a wider range of activities than the Bradley business itself, “said the Prime Minister, adding that this is a confirmation of quality cooperation with the US in defense policy.
“I think that in this way we have given another part of the mosaic of quality relations we have with the United States,” he concluded, thanking Minister Banožić, who held important talks with the American side and who enabled the appropriate government to be adopted tomorrow at the Government session. decision and to take further operational action thereafter.
Less dollars per vehicle.
“So much for ‘gambling’ with the Croatian budget and taxpayers’ money,” he said, adding that the process would have been easier if the President of the Republic had been affirmative, sat down at the table and talked.
The agreement is flexible
When it comes to the vehicle repayment plan, Prime Minister Plenković said that the first and largest tranche will be in the coming weeks after the letters are exchanged. “After that, it goes on successively over the next few years, with the agreement being flexible. “If Croatia wants to end the repayment of the war earlier, we can also agree with the American side,” he added.
Journalists were also interested in other current political topics. Asked to comment on the statement of the President of the Republic Milanovic on the withdrawal of Croatian soldiers from Ukraine, Prime Minister Plenković reminded that he had extensively commented on this topic last night.
“Nothing surprises me here. “I can repeat once again that it is unreal in every way,” he said.
When it comes to the reaction of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister Plenković reminded that this is not the first time that we have invited our ambassadors to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of some countries after Milanović gave some statements of an international character.
Asked about the official Croatian position, Prime Minister Plenković said that he could speak on behalf of the Croatian Government about a position that has been clear, unambiguous, firm and unchanging for years.
“With the current situation in Ukraine, in which there is tension on its borders, the fact is that there have been occupied areas for almost eight years, where Croatia’s fundamental position is respect for the territorial integrity and integrity of Ukraine. “Giving priority, with all the possible experience we have, to diplomacy and a peaceful solution to the conflict, to the de-escalation of the current situation in terms of tensions and cooperation with our partners – within the EU and NATO,” he said.
Croatia’s role is constructive
In that light, Plenković said that the policy pursued by the Government is in the Croatian national interest and principled.
“When you look at our contacts, we are agile. “I was in Kiev, Minister Grlić Radman was in Moscow a few days ago, Croatia’s role is constructive – to share its experience that can prevent further conflicts, reduce tensions and can be a solution from our point of view,” said the Prime Minister.
One of the questions was about the decision to test students. Prime Minister Plenković said that it was in the interest of the entire educational process that students were in classrooms and classrooms as much as possible.
“Analyzes show that for the education system and the acquisition of knowledge, it is better that students are in schools. On the other hand, this effort enables us to avoid the situation that “whole classes” drop out of the educational cycle, by organizing tests on Monday mornings, which would be practically done by parents to their children, concluded Prime Minister Plenković.