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Croatia president slams US and NATO for ‘waging proxy war’ in Ukraine

Russia: Putin facing ‘internal division’ in the military says expert

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The president of EU member state Croatia has hit out at US and NATO involvement in the Ukraine war, claiming it is a “proxy war” with the potential to end in chaos. President Zoran Milanovic described some aspects of Western involvement as “absurd” and claimed “we will not achieve anything” with NATO and US involvement.

Several NATO member states, including the US, UK and France have recently increased their involvement in the Ukraine War – with additional financial and military commitments. It follows a barrage of economic sanctions which have been issued to the Kremlin since the start of the war on February 24, 2022.

Mr Milanovic claimed the involvement had initiated a “proxy war” – a conflict in which countries try to increase their power without direct involvement.

Speaking at a press conference in Vukovar, Mr Milanovic said: “Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia with the help of Ukraine.

“However, if there is no ultimate goal, if there is no plan, then everything will end like in Afghanistan.”

The leader argued against the practicality of intervention by NATO or the US, including sanctions or attempting to depose Putin.

He claimed NATO’s involvement in Serbia in the 1990s showed the “absurdity” of Western sanctions.

He added: “The plan cannot be to remove Russian President Vladimir Putin. The plan cannot be in sanctions.

“Sanctions are absurd, we will not achieve anything with their help”.

“They did not even break Slobodan Milosevic with sanctions. They go from war to war. And what am I supposed to be, a slave of America?”, he added.

Despite the claim of the leader of the EU’s 28th member state, Russia’s economy has been crippled since the start of the war as a result of economic sanctions.

Many countries around the world have applied sanctions which have restricted Russia’s banking sector, exports, imports and individual Russian businessmen.

The UK has banned gold, iron and steel imports from Russia and phased out oil imports.

In October, The EU Assistance Mission Ukraine was founded – intended to offer support to Ukraine with military training.

But the project was turned down by Croatian lawmakers who refused to sign the plan. They were set to host 100 Ukrainian soldiers in the country and 80 Croatian instructors would have travelled abroad to help the Ukrainians in other EU countries.

The vote followed a quarrel between Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic – who wanted to support NATO – and President Milanovic.

Mr Plenkovic said before his vote was cast: “It’s a choice between Ukraine and Putin.

“Croatia for years has been a member of NATO and the EU, it is not neutral or non-aligned.”

Since Summer, British forces have trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers as part of a programme to help their fight against Russia.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed the UK will send Challenger tanks to Ukraine in a move to put pressure on Germany to also approve sending military vehicles.

He initially intends to send Zelensky a small number of the tanks while Germany continues to see political debate around delivering German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

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