Croatian ambassador in Moscow resigned in a complex moment


A career diplomat Igor Pokaz left the service and will continue his career in private business abroad. Ambassador in Moscow must be a person by the will of the Prime Minister and the President, as well as of the Russian authorities.


Croatian diplomacy found itself in serious trouble at the end of this year . Igor Pokaz, current ambassador in Moscow reported the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs that he decided to leave the diplomatic service and to continue his career in private business, not in Croatia.

 But in this case is not only about the leaving of career diplomat. The leaving of Igor Pokaz opens the issue on two levels. The first is internal political. The fact is, it is extremely important that a person who is selected for managing embassy in Moscow may be acceptable to the government, but also to the President. Since we have pending presidential elections and that there might be some changes in the President’s Office, it is quite possible that they will not be able to achieve the necessary consent.

It is not excluted that current president, if still remains in his place, will have no objection to the selected gouverment.  Because, in these circumstances, Moscow is extremely important and everyone wants a man of confidence over there.

The second one is foreign policy because, at the moment the relations between Croatia, as a member of UE, and Russia are in the highly sensitive stage, primarily due to the policy of Moscow to Ukraine and flagrant violations of international law annexation of Crimea, which is why the sanctions were taken. Relations between Croatian and Russia through modern history have often been turbulent – not only because of Russia.

 However, at the beginning of the nineties Zagreb believed that Russia supports Yugoslavia or, better said, Serbia and is opponent of Croatian independence. Although there are numerous examples it is not necessarily the truth  – let’s just remember the breaking of the Zagreb airport blockade by the Russian Aeroflot airliner n the spring of 1992.- Croatia has always kept her distance from Russia. Even though Russia always said that their good relations with Belgrade doesn’t mean that they wish for different ones with Zagreb.

 All this complicates after Russia offered project DružbaAdria, which would bring Russian oil to Omišalj through pipelines and then after transported further by tankers.

Zagreb looked at this project with great caution and in the end gave up on it. Back then many Russian investors had serious problems with investments in Croatia what did not make them overly happy just like the fact that they need visas again for entering our country. And then came the Ukrainian crisis, when the Zagreb firmly stood by its Western allies, joined the sanctions and Russia  had said what they thought, the Russian ambassador made an open threat.

Because of this delicate Croatian-Russian relations, it is clear that we need to find someone who Moscow can’t say no to and as the host country they have right to do that. The Kremlin could reject our proposals for a new head of mission, which would put Croatia in a difficult situation when it comes to direct diplomatic communication what would be bad for our economic interests in that country.

 In any case, an extremely difficult task stands in front of Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs which, as we have noted, goes beyond the level of bilateral relations. Because Croatia is Balkan country neighbor of the Republic of Serbia where Russia seeks to strengthen its maximum impact.


Source: Jutarnji list

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