President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković who is on a visit to our country.
The President thanked the people and the Government of Croatia for their support of Ukraine during the difficult times of the war.
"Croatia is a principled member of our anti-war coalition. Together we defend the right not only of our citizens, not only of the citizens of Ukraine, but also of every European nation to an independent and democratic life. Together, we are defending the future of a united Europe and are doing everything we can to restore the power of international law," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during talks with media representatives following the negotiations with Andrej Plenković in Kyiv.
According to the President, the key topics of the meeting were security and steps needed to support Ukraine in the struggle for freedom.
"In particular, these are steps in the defense, economic and energy spheres, as well as cooperation at the level of the European Union," the President said.
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, among other things, the talks focused on increasing sanctions on Russia. He thanked Croatia for its readiness to support the EU's sixth sanctions package.
"Until Russia stops this war against our state, against our people, until it liberates our land and begins to respect freedom in Europe, we need to raise the price of this aggression," the President said.
The parties also discussed cooperation in restoring full life in the de-occupied areas of our country.
"Croatia has considerable experience in demining territories, and I asked to provide our state with the necessary assistance, especially in our program of Ukraine's reconstruction," he said, noting that during the retreat the Russian military left thousands of mines and tripwire mines on Ukrainian territory, which pose a threat to civilians.
In addition, during the meeting, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Andrej Plenković discussed Ukraine's integration into the European Union.
"I am grateful to Croatia and personally to Prime Minister Plenković for his consistent and strong support for Ukraine on its path to the European Union. Last December, we signed a Declaration with the Prime Minister on the European perspective of our country. I want to thank you again for that," the President said.
He expressed hope that at the European Council meeting in June this year, EU member states will support the decision on candidate status for our country.
In addition, the President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Croatia have devoted a lot of time to the issue of ending the war on our land.
"I told Andrej Plenković in detail what is happening in Donbas, what are the difficulties there and where Croatia could help us, etc. I would like to thank you once again for this visit," the President said.
For his part, the Prime Minister of Croatia noted that his country highly values the resilience and resistance of the Ukrainian people and respects the heroism of the Ukrainian servicemen, who defend their homes, families and Homeland. He assured of further support for our state.
"Croatia has consistently supported Ukraine in political, diplomatic, legal, financial, humanitarian and technical matters. And we will continue to provide this assistance, clearly understanding that we are doing this as a country that has always been convinced that we are on the right side of history, on the right side of ethics," said Andrej Plenković.
He also said Croatia would support further restrictive measures against Russia at EU level.
Andrej Plenković noted that he personally and his country support the European aspirations of Ukraine and its people. He praised the completion of our country's application form for the EU candidate status and assured that Croatia would provide assistance to Ukraine in further steps at the level of the European Council.
The Prime Minister also noted that his country is ready to share the experience of demining with Ukraine.
In addition, Andrej Plenković said that as of today, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Croatia to Ukraine is returning to Kyiv, which "is also a strong signal of support for Ukrainians."