From 25 to 28 May 2022, Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee paid an official visit to Croatia upon the invitation of the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj. During the visit, he met with the President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Zoran Milanovic, the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrej Plenkovic, the Minister of Defence, PhD Mr. Mario Banozic, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, PhD Mr. Gordan Grlic Radman. He also met with high-level Croatian military officials, as well as the President and members of the Parliament Defence Committee. The Chair took the opportunity while in Croatia to visit the Croatian Defence Academy where he delivered a lecture to staff and students.
Speaking with the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrej Plenkovic, the Chair welcomed Croatia’s increase in defence investments and its financial contribution to the Alliance, including the Military Transition Fund in Ukraine. “As the Alliance faces the most dangerous security situation in Europe for decades, we must continue to strengthen our defence. With increased defence spending and new defence capabilities,’ emphasized Admiral Bauer.
During his discussions with the Minister of Defence, PhD Mr. Mario Banozic, and the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, PhD Mr. Gordan Grlic Radman, Admiral Bauer welcomed the leadership role Croatia plays in South Eastern Europe and how it helps build stability in the Western Balkans. This is extremely valuable as the Alliance adapts to meet security challenges to the east and the south.
Meeting with Admiral Robert Hranj, the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, discussions centered on the Alliance’s long-term defence posture. The Chair thanked Croatia for its continued contributions to NATO missions and activities. Croatian troops serve in NATO’s battlegroup in Poland, the new Enhanced Vigilance Activity in Hungary, Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean, as well as in NATO’s missions in Kosovo and Iraq. Croatian Armed Forces also contribute to NATO’s Response Force and NATO’s Readiness Initiative.
Attending a meeting with the President and members of the Parliament Defence Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer and the Committee exchanged views on the forthcoming NATO Summit. The Chair underlined how NATO safeguards Croatia’s independence and security just as Croatia contributes to NATO’s shared security.
Concluding his visit, Admiral Rob Bauer visited the Croatian Defence Academy where he delivered a lecture to assembled staff and students on NATO’s ability to unite and to adapt.