Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met with representatives of Microsoft and SAAB in Bratislava on Saturday, on the fringes of the GLOBSEC security forum.
Grabar-Kitarovic and SAAB's marketing director for Southeast Europe, Magnus Lewis Olssen, talked about Swedish fighter aircraft Gripen.
Speaking to reporters, she said they did not discuss any purchases. "I said that's not my decision, although I am the supreme commander of the armed forces, but a decision which we all in Croatia must make," she said, adding that the decision should be preceded by a public discussion.
"We talked about the future of fighters in Croatia, the future of the Air Force, perhaps the need to modernise it. We who represent SAAB talked about Gripen, of course... Fortunately, deals are being prepared, we'll see. They are big deals, a big budget and things take time. Perhaps we can offer a shorter time than our competitors for a new solution, but it's still a long term programme," said Olsen.
Grabar-Kitarovic also talked with Microsoft's vice president for relations with EU governments, John Frank. She said there was plenty of room for cooperation and that "joint work has been agreed with some non-governmental organisations promoting computer education for our children, notably girls, and, naturally, further work with the government on some concrete projects of protection from cyber attacks."
Frank said Microsoft had been active in Croatia for years and that he was looking forward to examining new business opportunities.