The Former Austrian Defence Minister Mario Kunasek has been awarded the Order of Duke Trpimir with Neck Badge and Morning Star
The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević on behalf of the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Croatian Armed Forces Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on 14 November 2019 presented the former Defence Minister of the Republic of Austria with the Order of Duke Trpimir with Neck Badge and Morning Star.
Minister Krstičević: Rudolf Perešin’s aircraft returned thanks to constructive engagement of the former Minister Kunasek
Defence Minister Damir Krstičević emphasised that Mario Kunasek gave an important contribution to the development of the bilateral relations of Croatia and Austria during his office as Defence Minister
“We wish to extend appreciation to our good friend Mario Kunasek for his contribution and for the effort he has mande to achieve noble historical goals. The co-operation of Croatia and Austria has strengthened through the conduct of joint activities such as the special forces drills, training and education for the international operations and missions and the co-operation of the two air forces. Minister Kunasek has an essential part in the return of the Mig 21 aircraft flown by the legendary Croatian pilot from the Bihać airport to Klagenfurt in 1991 was of huge importance for Croatia and its people. The 150,000 young visitors of the Mig-21 displayed in front of the Ministry of Defence’s headquarters speaks of its symbolic value. The aircraft is a symbol of victory ands of the Croatian struggle for independence in the Homeland War.
The credit for the return of Staff Brig. Perešin’s MiG 21 from Austria, which is of historic importance and an international affirmation of the defensive Homeland War and the struggle for freedom as an indisputable thing”, said Minister Krstičević.
Minister Kunasek empohasised that he received the decoration on behalf of all involved in the return of Perešin’s aircraft to Croatia.
Minister Kunasek said: “Minister Krstičević and I first met in this room in May 2018, when he told me firmly and kindly that Croatian people would be honoured and happy to have the Mig 21 transported to Croatia. We worked intensively on the project, resolving the bureaucratic and political obstacles to the return of the MiG21”.
“On landing the MiG 21 in Klagenfurt Rudolf Perešin displayed an exemplary stance, showing that our mission was to ensure stability, security and peace for our region.. I will be a friend of Croatia forever and carry this decoration!”.
The Order of Duke Trpimir with Neck Badge and Morning Star is awarded to Croatian and foreign ministers and other high-ranking officials for their extraordinary contributions to the independence, integrity and international reputation of the Republic of Croatia, for the development of Croatia and for the development of its relations with other countries.
The former Austrian Defence Minister Mario Kunasek is the first Austrian minister to have received the Order of Duke Trpimir.