Russia creates a balance of power in the world and plays an important role in the Balkans but unfortunately has little influence in Bosnia, Bosnian Croat leader, Dragan Covic, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Monday while visiting the country.
“The role of the Russian Federation, I would say, is irreplaceable, fundamental: it balances, creates a balance of power in the world,” he said, adding that this is especially true for Southeastern Europe and the Balkans.
Covic, who is the Chairman of Bosnia’s House of Peoples and the leader of the main Bosnian Croat party in the country, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), is visiting Russia on an invitation by the Chairman of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko.
He said he plans to propose more active cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries and communication to “open the doors for developing business and cultural interaction,” adding that Bosnia should “learn from Russia” how to protect its interests and ensure “interreligious and interethnic balance.”
“Russia is constantly being accused of its politics and diplomacy having a very strong influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would say that, unfortunately, there is very little Russian influence here,” Covic said.
The Bosnian Croat leader argued that Russia is a “huge market” and that “wise politics in Bosnia would enable us to recognise this, without paying attention to sanctions anyone imposed or any obstructions that were introduced.”
Relations between the two countries are friendly as they have no outstanding open issues between them, he said.
He explained that, however, there is currently no “united view on foreign policy” in Bosnia.
“This is why problems in our communication happen sometimes in our bilateral relations, especially because of sanctions which various institutions impose from time to time, such as the European Union,” Covic said.