ZAGREB, Oct 5 (Croatia Sun News) – US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric Gordon Nelson said in a recent interview that Russia’s moves in the Balkans were destabilising. Meanwhile, Russia expressed its regrets on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s aspiration to join NATO, its embassy in Sarajevo said in response to BiH politicians’ renewed discussions on drawing closer to NATO.
He said that in an interview with the news agencies of BiH’s two entities, asked about the influence of China and Russia in the Western Balkans. Regarding China, he said that it often left partner countries in debt.
Asked when he would meet with the Serb member of the BiH Presidency, Miolrad Dodik, Nelson said Dodik was under US sanctions because of actions that undermined the Dayton peace agreement.
Nelson was hopeful that the new BiH Council of Ministers and parliament would be formed soon, since a year has passed since general elections, as well as the federal government and cantons so that they could focus on reforms.
He said the US administration would support BiH’s efforts to implement the reforms demanded by the European Union.
That path is not easy and will require compromise, but the US remains a consistent partner which will extend support so that can be achieved, Nelson said.
Russia expressed its regrets on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s aspiration to join NATO
“We regret to note the constant attempts to drag the peoples of BiH into the orbit of the military-political North Atlantic Alliance. We would like to draw attention to the fact that everyone familiar with the real situation in present-day BiH can see that there is not a hint of a consensus in BiH society with regard to NATO membership,” the Russian embassy in Sarajevo said in a press release.
The statement was released after BiH Presidency members Zeljko Komsic and Milorad Dodik again argued in public about NATO membership.
The argument was prompted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who accused the US and leading Western European countries this week of trying to ensure, from Bosniak and Croat political parties under their influence, the establishment of a unitarian state of BiH in order to drag it into NATO.
Komsic reminded Lavrov that when he last visited BiH he said Moscow was against NATO enlargement but that it would respect any decision the country made. He said the BiH Presidency had unanimously decided that BiH wanted to join NATO.
Dodik accused Komsic of persistently denying the fact that the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska (RS), had opted for military neutrality and that therefore earlier BiH Presidency decisions on NATO no longer applied. He said the RS position on NATO integration was not Russia’s position.
In its press release, the Russian Embassy referred to that claim by Dodik.
It’s obvious that one of the constituent peoples in the state is against joining this military bloc, it hasn’t forgotten the malignant role the alliance played during the conflicts in BiH and Kosovo in 1995 and 1999, it is against NATO integration which, from the point of view of logic and common sense, is completely understandable, the embassy said.
Artificially dragging BiH into the Euro-Atlantic orbit undermines internal political stability, creates new divisions and is contrary to the logic of the Dayton agreement, which envisages the adoption of vital decisions solely on the basis of a consensus between the three constituent peoples, the embassy said.