Russia supports the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the equality of its three constituent peoples but sees violations of the rights of constituent people and entities as a threat to the future of a multinational country, Russian Ambassador in Bosnia, Peter Ivantsov, said on Saturday.
The statement came after the media reported about the National Defense Authorisation Act for the fiscal year 2021, which the US Senate Committee on Armed Services adopted.
The document claimed that Russia has undermined the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and has played a destabilising role in the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia.
Russia is cooperating with the state institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as its entities and cantons, Ivantsov said.
“We are working together with all three peoples and representatives of others. We are working together with representatives of all religions. What’s the problem?” the Ambassador asked.
“Is it that our approach which is in line with the Dayton Agreement, does not fit the tasks issued from abroad with the goal to revise the basic principles Bosnia and Herzegovina was built upon?” he suggested.
Russia is against such a revision and believes that the violations of the status and rights of constituent peoples and entities jeopardize the multinational future of the country, Ivantsov wrote in an op-ed published by Glas Srpske.
He also asked whether the problem was Russia’s close cooperation with Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska.
"Our special friendly relations with Republika Srpska are a fact. Not only do we not hide them, but we also highly appreciate and develop them in every way. And this is done without violating the interests of anybody else. Speculations about the ‘undermining of the sovereignty’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to put it mildly, have nothing to do with reality,” Ivantsov said.
The Russian Ambassador argued that such speculations are meant to deceive the public and create a tense atmosphere in order to fulfil certain tasks.
He pointed out that Russia is opposed to the NATO expansion, calling the alliance an “aggressive military-political bloc” and accusing it of “creating divisions in Europe” and undermining European stability and security.
"NATO has, out of purely political selfish interests, on its own initiative, in violation of international law, bombed cities and bridges, civilian infrastructure, caused the suffering of innocent civilians, did not hesitate to use depleted uranium, contaminated huge areas here in the Balkans, which will affect the health of everybody for centuries to come,” Ivantsov wrote.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a sovereign state, "has the right to / not / get closer to someone", and that there is no consensus in Bosnian society on NATO integration, he explained.
"Attempts to 'push' Bosnia's integration into NATO, which undermines the foundations of Bosnia's functioning as a state of three equal peoples and two entities with broad constitutional powers, jeopardize the security and the stability,” Ambassador Ivantsov stressed.
“Russia, as one of the guarantors of the peace agreement, has the right and the obligation to point this out and to work towards unconditional adherence to the Dayton principles," Ivantsov concluded.