Accusations, or at least suspicions and insinuations, are taking turns and being repeated regularly, almost like seasons. The suspect is always determined in advance, so for this reason, the descriptions of his guilt differ only in the passion of the description of the allegedly committed crime. As a rule, more or less coordinated stories are repeated every time the state border dispute is politically or legally actualized.
That is how it was also this time when the prominent Zagreb weekly Globus published yesterday the text of the renowned Zagreb professor, Dr. Mirjana Kasapović, about the long tradition of Slovenian anti-Croat politics. The current accusation that Slovenia allegedly gave former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević mandate for the start of the war in Croatia, the destruction of Vukovar and the attack on Dubrovnik, is, at least in its brutality, completely new thing. The announcement of the accusation is only partially intended for the Croatian public, due to a re-awakening of the feeling of discomfort or even intolerance towards the neighbouring state.
It is also only partially addressed to the Slovenian public, to a part which is suspicious of the decision of the Slovenian government on the resolution of the controversial border issue with Croatia.
However, it is generally addressed to the interested international public and diplomacy. The one who follows the dispute between the state of Croatia and the International Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague, and the judgment on determining the sea border between Slovenia and Croatia. The content of the dispute is very simple. Croatia is proving that all those international obligations or judgments which it does not find suitable and advantageous for itself or which would cause other consequences cannot apply to it, and that therefore it cannot accept the judgement of the Hague Tribunal. Also because the principle of arbitration settlement of open border issues on the Adriatic Sea with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro and the Danube River with Serbia could become a source of new problems and new disputes for Croatia, because the court’s decisions could differ from the wishes of the official Zagreb.
And yesterday’s text published in the Globus magazine was addressed exactly to this public in Berlin, Paris and Brussels. It tells them that Croatia is the victim of a long-standing Slovenian conspiracy, which began with the Minister of Internal Affairs in the former Yugoslavia, Anton Korošec, and has continued with Milan Kučan and also with the current President of the Slovenian Government, Dr. Miro Cerar. That that is why they cannot and should not request from it to acknowledge the decision of the arbitral tribunal that goes back to remembering of the “death of thousands of soldiers and civilians, hundreds of destroyed towns and villages,” which were, at least indirect, consequence of such a Slovenian conspiracy.
The evidence of such a claim and allegation was, allegedly, a meeting of the Slovenian and Serbian state leadership held on January 24, 1991.
I remember that meeting well, I was the head of the Slovenian national television back then, edited the programs and, of course, had a very good overview of all, especially political events. The dialogue was led by Kučan and Slobodan Milošević, and the Slovenian delegation also had members of the Presidency Dušan Plut, President of the Parliament France Bučar and Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Jože Mencinger.
The meeting had two key theses.
First, that the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis must start from the right of the people to self-determination, which can be limited only by the same rights of other nations, that it must respect the diversity of interests and not to be to the damage of other nations. And that, accordingly, Slovenia respects the interest of the Serbian people to live in one state.
The second thesis was that in accordance with the decisions of the Helsinki Conference and the principles of nonviolent change of borders, the republics and / or new states must agree on this.
In Zagreb, the meeting was understood as an anti-Croatian agreement. That is why Kučan met with Dr. Franjo Tuđman on the same day, repeated the course of the Belgrade conversation and explained on the first place that the same right to self-determination and life in one country is the same for Croatia. Tuđman was satisfied after the conversation. But not quite. However, Kučan, and even less Slovenia, were to be blamed for such Tuđman’s discomfort.
The guilty was the content of the Belgrade conversation, because it did not coincide with Tuđman’s political philosophy and state doctrine.
At one of the first conversations, then still Croatian and Slovenian opposition parties, in 1990, held at the Otočec castle, Tuđman no longer talked about the AVNOJ borders of the former Yugoslav republics, but about natural and historical borders. And that was precisely what connected him with Milošević’s politics. The two of them were not only connected by a general conviction that the disintegration of Yugoslavia could no longer be avoided, which was already a completely recognizable fact, but the two of them were fatefully connected with the idea that they must come out as peoples, not as republics after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. In the break-up of Yugoslavia, Tuđman saw the chance of forming an ideal and clean, greater Croatia.
On February 25, 1990, the Tuđman’s party declaration came out, stating as one of the key program objectives the formation of new natural and historical Croatian borders. It would be achieved by the so-called human relocation (of impure) population and the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The second reason for Tuđman’s dissatisfaction was in the date. On the same day, on January 24, 1991, when Kučan met with Milošević, Stipe Mesić brought to Belgrade’s Tuđman’s invitation to Milošević for a confidential meeting on resolving the Yugoslav crisis.
Two months later, in Karađorđevo, during a walk through the former Tito’s hunting grounds, they sought ways to implement the concept of two greater states, greater Croatia and greater Serbia.
Tuđman was convinced that the Yugoslav army would never attack Croatia. I have the personal convictions of General Veljko Kadijević, he repeated. Therefore, on July 30, 1991, he convened the Supreme State Council, explaining that the key to the solution of the crisis was only his agreement with Milošević and the division of B&H. He said that the war in Slovenia was agreed, he cancelled the joint defence agreement between Croatia and Slovenia and replaced General Špegelj, who dared to challenge him and demanded that the Croatian army block the movements of the Yugoslav army towards Slovenia. This was the first consequence of the agreement of Milošević and Tuđman.
Without this, we cannot understand the subsequent fall of the city of Vukovar when Croatian defence fighter were simply no longer allowed to obtain weapons and new ammunition, nor the reasons for the subsequent move of the battlefield to Bosnia.
Tuđman was ready to sell spare parts for tanks and armoured vehicles to the Serbian army at the time of the most difficult conflicts only if he was convinced that Prevlaka on the maritime border with Montenegro was Croatia.
Today, obviously everything is allowed for the cancellation of the international arbitration decision on the maritime border with Slovenia.
Even the accusation of the centennial plot against Croatia.