NATO officials arrived in Bosnia on Monday to see whether the country is ready to meet the last condition set by the NATO Membership Action Plan which Bosnian Serbs keep obstructing since 2009.
Bosnian Serb leaders are refusing to allow the registration of former Yugoslav Army facilities on the territory of the Bosnian Serb sub-state of Republika Srpska, RS, as state property. They argue that whatever is located in the RS, belongs to the RS.
The country’s Bosniaks and Croats are keen to proceed toward NATO membership as they believe it would stabilize the peace in the region but Bosnian Serbs are not in a hurry to meet this condition as they are opposing Bosnia’s NATO membership anyway.
They said that as long as neighboring Serbia stays out of the alliance, Bosnia will too.
Bosnian Serb representatives did not even show up for the meeting with NATO officials in the country’s Parliament building. According to Nikola Lovrinovic, the head of Bosnia’s delegation of Parliamentarians in NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, the alliance will discuss ways to accelerate Bosnia’s accession process at a session in the coming months.
A month ago, the Croat member of Bosnia’s Presidency, Dragan Covic, said he hoped the country would activate its Membership Action Plan “next month.”
But others, like the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Commission for Defence and Security, Sifet Podzic, are not so optimistic.
“I personally think that this will not happen, not even in July, as I know the principles NATO goes by and that a consensus of all 29 members is required,” Podjic said.
Unless there is no consensus and the registration of the military properties is not finished, “we can not hope for the MAP to be activated,” he said.