In the Đakovo Barracks, under a heavy downpour, the new Minister of Defense Ivan Anušić escorted the 40th Croatian contingent to the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia have been participating in the KFOR operation for 15 years and so far 1,872 members have passed through them, of which 100 are women. The new contingent of soldiers has 150 members, nine of whom are women. Among them there is an equal number of older and experienced soldiers as well as young members.
“You are going to a friendly country. Croatian soldiers are welcome there and the experiences of previous contingents are positive. Your task is to contribute to peace and stability there. Do not underestimate the dangers that exist, as in every operation, but we are convinced that you are prepared for them through the rigorous training you have undergone,” Brigadier Rajko Perić and Admiral Robert Hranj told the soldiers.
“Looking at you reminds me of the days spent in the Croatian army, proud myself to that period and that I am before you today as a minister. 1,872 of our soldiers have participated in Kosovo so far. Everyone was building a positive image of our Homeland. I expect that from you too. The war in Ukraine and Israel makes our job of keeping security more important. You are the heirs of our fighters who are the foundation of this country.”
“As a minister, I will work on strengthening the army and defense. We will return the barracks to Beli Manastir and other cities. The defense should be strengthened in all directions. The priority of my work is the material empowerment of you as individuals because operations are nothing without the motivation of soldiers,” pointed out Ivan Anušić, Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister.
The Minister pointed out that the Ministry’s strategic projects are the completion of the procurement of Black Hawk helicopters, Patria, and Bradley armored vehicles, which will arrive at the Đuro Đaković factory by the end of the year, the completion of the procurement of 24 coastal ships that have not yet been delivered but were contracted several years ago, and the return of the army to Beli Manastir.
When asked by a journalist if there is a possibility that he can run for the position of president of the Republic of Croatia, as some media speculate, Anušić answered briefly with ‘No’.