The Russian embassy in Zagreb was surprised to see Croatia among the signatories of a recent letter asking the EU to combat Moscow’s influence in the region.

This is according to the Croatian daily Vecernji List, which cited “a source from the embassy” to report that they were “surprised to see the country on the frontline of a sophisticated and intensive campaign being carried out by outside factors.”

“We regret the Croatian side taking this course, at a time of activation of bilateral cooperation, and after the positive results of the official visit of the Croatian president to Russia,” the newspaper quoted its source as saying.

By signing the letter – co-signed by the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Britain – Croatia “took the side of those states that have been talkjing for a while about the Russian information campaign,” the same source reportedly said, and added that “previously, working groups had been formed in order to ‘correct the Russian news’.”

The newspaper then noted that “such problems” had never been mentioned in Croatia before – and that the whole thing “raises another question” – namely, whether the letter, sent less than a week before the Croatian president visited Russia, had “reopened speculation that it was timed to ‘spoil’ that step forward in relaxing relations between the two countries.”

But the daily referenced diplomatic sources to report that this was not true – as the “anti-propaganda initiative” had been worked on for a while, and had no connection to the Croatian president’s trip to Russia.

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