BELGRADE – Russia armed Croatia, not Serbia, during the war, said Marin Tomulic, who said he testified it, and added that everything was done with the intervention of France, writes Serbian daily “Kurir”.
French connection in arming Croatia in the nineties, Marin Tomulic, revealed how the delivery of weapons was done for Croatia daily “Vecernji list”.
The French state “opened” Russia and all storage of weapons in countries in which Russians had them, said Tomulic and added: “Because of everything it did for us during the war, Russia does not deserve that we now uncritically introduce and extend sanctions. They were our friends and allies. I only appeal that it is not forgotten”.
Russia, he says, was a friend and ally of Croatia in the procurement of weapons in early 1990.
“The Russians delivered us weapons at the request of France. I am a witness to it,” Tomulic said for “Vecernji list”.
Now, he says, it is believed that the Russians were and remain allies of the Serbs, but he says it is not so because the Russians in the war armed Croatia, not Serbs.
Josip Manolic in his new book “Spies and homeland” mentions Tomulic, as “the first supplier to President Franjo Tudjman”. Josip Manolic is the former Croatian prime minister and high-ranking official of the secret services, both from the former Yugoslavia and from the time of the creation of Croatia.
As Croatian Prime Minister, I have given Tomulic power of authorized purchaser of government, and later the official representative of the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Order in the negotiations over the price or the manner of delivery, Manolic writes in his memoirs.
Very soon after he had been hired, Tomulic brought good news: French state is ready to assist Croatia in the procurement of all types of weapons. Soon he became part of the group made of Zeljko Tomljenovic, Ivan Cermak and (Dubravko) Novak – who would permanently deal with the matter.
“Not only France had friendly opened its warehouse but it also opened the door to the Kremlin, which has enabled us to purchase across Europe: in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria, and also in Ukraine and Kazakhstan,” Tomulic said for “Vecernji list” in Paris and added that he is still close to Manolic and is glad, he says, that he was mentioned in his memoirs.
They met through Ivan Denac, Croatian national hero and politician from the time of Yugoslavia, otherwise wedded godfather of Josip Tomulic, Marin’s father. Denac, who was political commissar of the 13th Proletarian Brigade, knows Manolic from NOB, and both knew Tudjman from even before the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia.
“Denac contacted me in 1990 and I came to Zagreb from France, met Manolic, who took me to Ivan Cermak in the cabinet of President Tudjman. Cermak asked me to assist in the procurement of weapons,” said Tomulic, who then lived in the south of France, where he had a car salon. There, one of the clients, otherwise an intelligence officer, helped him to establish contact with the French authorities.
“They told me that the decision of the French state is to help us arm,” said Tomulic and added that they gave him documentation with a catalog of all kinds of weapons of Russian production.
A few days later, he said, he went to Zagreb with the documentation, where Manolic took him to Cermak in the Cabinet of President Tudjman. Tomulic said that the catalog of weapons included all kinds of weapons, other than a nuclear bomb.
“Absolutely everything” – he said, and recounted: guns, ammunition, grenades, sophisticated weapons, helicopters. He also claimed that the Russians knew that the sold weapons went to Croatia, and that they, according to him, openly said: “We can not reject the French.”