ZAGREB, Sept 21 (Croatia Sun News) – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Damir Krsticevic said in Dubrovnik on Friday that the Croatian Navy (HRM) is a basic factor of Croatia’s security in the Adriatic and a steward of the country’s interests in the Mediterranean.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the 28th anniversary of the establishment of the Croatian Navy, Krsticevic said that the government had recognised the strategic importance of developing the navy along with the other branches of the armed forces.
“With the aim of securing the necessary conditions to carry out all our duties, we have steadily increased our defence budget,” said Krsticevic. “We have procured modern equipment and we are strengthening the overall capacity of the Navy,” he added.
“In the wake of the Homeland War our navy weakened and that was not a good situation. We are a maritime country and we have to have a navy,” the defence minister stressed.
“Last year the government decided to form a Marine company in Ploce as the new HRM centre, whereby we returned the victorious army to Croatia’s south, which is one of the most important strategic decisions that is vital to peace and security in this area,” said Krsticevic.
Sundov: The Navy must be capable of protecting national sovereignty
The Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Mirko Sundov, said that the HRM must be capable of protecting the sovereignty of the state, monitoring and protecting Croatia’s rights and interests at sea and additionally strengthening its homeland security.
As part of the ceremony, the 2nd Croatian contingent was welcomed home from the “Sea Guardian” NATO peace support mission in the Mediterranean.
The Croatian Navy was established on the orders of the late president Franjo Tudjman on 12 September 1991. Croatian Navy Day is celebrated on 18 September in memory of a battle near the southern coastal town of Makarska in 887 when the Croatian navy defeated the Doge of Venice who was killed in the battle.