Croatian President Zoran Milanovic stated on Nov. 22 that the only way his country could react to the expulsion of its diplomat from Serbia was by a reciprocal measure of same nature towards a Serbian diplomat in Zagreb.
“What was the Croatian diplomat doing? I suppose – his job, like all other Croatian diplomats,” Milanovic said in comment of the expulsion of a Croatian diplomat in Belgrade, his media service reported. Speaking about this diplomatic incident, Milanovic assessed that this was not “a productive measure, because it does not contribute to strengthening, or even keeping the existing level of relations, which is already not very high.”
“After the incident in northern Kosovo a month or so ago, I was rather restrained regarding the need for a response to Belgrade, for imposing sanctions, which many were advocating, because I believed, and I still do, that sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy fail as a rule,” stated the Croatian president.
On Nov. 21, the Croatian Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs proclaimed an advisor in the Embassy of Serbia in Zagreb, Petar Novakovic, persona non grata. The decision was made in response to the Serbian Foreign Ministry’s announcing a day earlier that they had proclaimed Croatian diplomat Hrvoje Snajder persona non grata because of “a flagrant departure from diplomatic norms and a violation of the Vienna convention,” which regulates diplomatic relations.