The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević and the Ambassador of the U.S. to Croatia H.E. Robert Kohorst on 28 February 2019 signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and the Ministry of Defence on the U.S. assistance with the disposal of conventional weapons.
As specified in the Memorandum, the U.S. will donate up to USD 1 million-worth funds to the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of safe disposal of surplus conventional weapons and ammunition (using industrial demilitarisation).
Minister Krstičević stressed that the signing of the Memorandum with the United States was another indicator of excellent bilateral relations between the Republic of Croatia and the United States amd extended appreciation to the U. S. for the support and donations aimed at enhancing Croatia's defence capabilities.
"This bilateral activity adds to the already productive co-operation between the United States and the Republic of Croatia in the domain of security. My appreciation goes to Ambassador Kohorst and the U.S. for the valuable donation contributing to the security and neutralising the threat of illegal use of air defence systems and also to the security of the global civil air transport security", said the Minister.
The Ambassador of the United States to Croatia Robert Kohorst expressed honour for attending another bilateral activity, and the pride over making a joint important step preserving the security of the area and said he was looking forward to future co-operation. "The Memorandum we have just signed entails the programme for safe storage of weapons and explosive ordnance by the Croatian Armed Forces, providing security fo their members and overall security of the citizens of Croatia!", said Ambassador Kohorst and concluded that the agreed programme was a symbol of partnership of the two countries.
"I am proud to be here today with my good friend to sign this document and I wish to thank Croatia for its commitment in the partnership with the United States", said Ambassador Kohorst.
The signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia in support of the destruction of conventional weapons is an extension of the bilateral co-operation in safe disposal and destruction of decommissioned air defence systems (the Man-Portable Air Defence Systems - MANPADS).
Since the inception of the programme in 2009 the United States has donated USD 3 mil used for the instalment of technical protection on the ammunition depots considered for future use; since that time Croatia has destroyed 971 rockets Strela 2 M (MANPADS), 200 more were used during the exercises “ŠTIT 14“ and “ŠTIT 15“, and a small quantity of anti-armour artillery has been destroyed too. The 2019 donation will be used for industrial demilitarisation of outdated and decommissioned explosive ordnance.
Croatia and the United States have run bilateral defence co-operation in most functional areas,ranging from the education of the Ministry of Defence and of the Croatian Armed Forces personnel in the United States, equipment and strategic lift of the troops to Afghanistan, joint training and exercises and the donation of various funds intended for equipment and training and humanitarian activities.
The co-operation comprised over 1,000 activities held in the U.S. and Croatia, engaging nearly 1,000 members of the Croatian Armed Forces and of the Ministry of Defence , and provided over USD 150 mil for the equipment and modernisation of the Croatian Armed Forces. Considering the purchase price of the equipment, the assistance from the U.S. is worth ca US 500 million.