Ex-administrator in Bosnia: Russia enhancing influence, EU giving empty promises

Ex-administrator in Bosnia: Russia enhancing influence, EU giving empty promises

Ex-administrator in Bosnia: Russia enhancing influence, EU giving empty promises Izvor: JOHN THYS / AFP

There is a real danger that unsuccessful talks of Serbia and Kosovo will lead to open conflict and this might leave “fatal consequences” on Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the former international administrator for Bosnia Christian Schwarz-Schilling. He also warned that Russia is enhancing its influence in the region, while the European Union (EU) is only giving "empty promises."

In a commentary published by Deutsche Welle, Schwarz-Schilling said this is why it is very important for the EUFOR (European Union's military deployment in Bosnia) and NATO to stay present in Bosnia and show a stronger military presence there “in order to avoid more serious consequences.”

“Albania and Montenegro are already NATO member states and North Macedonia is about to join. Only Serbia does not aspire to the NATO membership, which principally applies to the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska (RS). RS loyally follows Serbia and objects the NATO membership, although years before it agreed and officially signed Bosnia and Herzegovina's request for the NATO Membership Action Plan. This is now causing big problems and political blockade in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he wrote adding that the Serb-majority region has changed its opinion and does not respect the earlier signed agreements.

“Serb entity leader Milorad Dodik, who is now the member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency, maintains good relations with Russia, which objects the NATO enlargement in the Western Balkans and is fighting more and more for the independence of the Republika Srpska. While Russia is enhancing its influence in the region through specific steps, the EU gives empty promises. This is how the danger of serious conflicts in the future is growing bigger, in case if Dodik continues following his secession announcements and merging with Serbia,” he added.

The German diplomat further noted that the failure to start the EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, due to the French veto, has triggered very bad effects in the region and that Europe once again proved it does not make its promises.

“It is true that Europe's requests concerning the rule of law must be respected among the candidate countries. North Macedonia and Albania met the requests set by the EU, which the European Commission itself confirmed. By rejecting the next step towards the EU, those two countries, as well as the whole region, are moving backwards,” said the German diplomat.

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