Over 25 years ago, on 15 January 1992, 12 countries making up the European Community – France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal – finally recognised Croatia as an independent state.
Whilst most of the world followed suit, there are still a handful of nations who have yet to formally recognise Croatia.
Those nations who have yet to formally recognise Croatia are The Bahamas, Burundi, Bhutan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Liberia, Marshal Islands, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia, Central African Republic, Swaziland, Tonga, and Tuvalu, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.
According to the paper’s sources, Croatia is on the way to establishing diplomatic relations with Burundi and Rwanda, thanks to the local Catholic missionaries who have been active in these countries for many years.
Most of the countries which have not achieved diplomatic cooperation with Croatia are said to largely foster diplomatic relations only with their neighbors in the region.
“Over the last two decades, it has often been written who, when and why have nations recognised Croatia. There were rumors that some of the countries that did not recognise Croatia actually did not want to do so because they had good relations with the former Yugoslavia, so they did not want to recognise the new state,” writes Slobodna Dalmacija.
Former diplomat Budimir Lončar explains however that it is more about countries which have no political significance not being so interested in recognizing some countries.
“These countries are not present in international relations, nor are they politically active. There is, therefore, no political reason why they should not recognise Croatia. This is more of an inertia or ignorance, and Croatia, probably, did not get all these countries animated enough (to recognise)”, says Lončar, who served in Indonesia, Germany and the US.
Lončar says that the rumours about ties to the former Yugoslavia being a reason, does not wash, saying many nations with strong connections recognised Croatia immediately, including India, Egypt, Germany, and Italy.
So the reason why 14 nations still have yet to formally recognise Croatia as an independent state is down to the fact that neither side is that interested in diplomatic relations.