April 26, 2018 / 2:02 PM / 7 months ago

Serbia bars Croatia's defence minister in tit-for-tat move

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia barred Croatia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister Damir Krsticevic on Thursday from entering the country until further notice, in a tit-for-tat move following a similar action by Zagreb last weekend.

The two ex-Yugoslav republics, foes in the wars of the 1990s, began trading barbs last week when a Croatian delegation cut short a trip to Serbia after a Serbian ultra-nationalist lawmaker and convicted war criminal shouted insults at them and tried to rip up the Croatian flag.

On Sunday, Croatia said Serbia’s Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin was not welcome to make a visit to an annual Serb Orthodox memorial service for the victims of a World War Two extermination camp in Jasenovac.

EU candidate Serbia said it had decided to bar Krsticevic from entering the country in a reciprocal move.

“The Serbian government believes that ... Croatia’s moves are contrary to the spirit of neighbourly cooperation and respect for basic European values that includes freedom of movement,” it said in a statement.

On Sunday, Croatia accused Vulin of undermining its sovereignty with a statement in which he said Zagreb had no authority to decide on whether he could visit Croatia or not.

After Croatia’s move, Vulin said Zagreb’s barring of his visit to the memorial service in the village of Mlaka, near the site of the Jasenovac camp, was an attempt by Croatia, an EU member, to silence those speaking about the crimes committed there by the Nazi-backed Independent State of Croatia.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Gareth Jones

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below