Turkey's Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, stated during his recent visit to Bosnia that Russia warned that Bosnia's accession to the NATO could cause instability in the Balkans. Allegedly, it was Russia's intention to slow down Bosnia's progress towards this alliance.
Yildirim's statement came at the moment when the country was expecting activation of the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for the NATO.
“However, we see the wish of the country and peoples of Bosnia to join the NATO, which is why we will continue providing support to Bosnia. Turkey will continue providing every sort of support to Bosnia on its path to the European Union and the NATO membership,” Yildirim underlined.
Commenting the geopolitical games in the region, Chairman of Bosnia's parliamentary Commission for Defence and Security, Sifet Podžić, said that Turkey was certainly one of the loudest advocators of the MAP activation. According to him, what Russia does is aimed at reaching definite solution to the issue of Crimea i.e. Ukraine.
“There are only our 22-23 kilometres around Neum left after the Montenegro's accession to the NATO, and that is certainly going to happen very soon,” stressed Podzic.
Bosnia's officials expect the MAP's activation at the upcoming summit, which is taking place in mid-2018.
BiH Minister of Defence, Marina Pendes, is paying an official visit to Brussels on April 9th-10th, where she is set to meet NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Alejandro Alvarogonzales. They will analyse the results of the North Atlantic Council (NAC)'s meeting held in March in Brussels and discuss the upcoming activities aimed at the MAP activation.