Russia’s Foreign Minister said in Sarajevo that Russia supports Bosnia’s territorial integrity and constitutional order, and they are interested in strengthening the already good political and economic cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During the press conference, Rusia’s Sergey Lavrov and Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said that meetings like these have a huge significance for the development of the cooperation between the two countries.
“The significance of this visit is huge. Our relations with Russia are friendly and we talked about ways to improve them even further in the field of trade. We are grateful to Russia for its principled position concerning the relations within Bosnia,” Bosnia’s Crnadak said at the beginning of the conference.
He also welcomed Lavrov’s visit to the Serbo-Russian Orthodox temple in Banjaluka.
“We talked about the situation in the region and agreed that successful end to the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations would be important for the stability of the region. We also touched upon our cooperation in the field of foreign policy and the United Nations,” Crnadak added.
Russia’s Lavrov also expressed satisfaction with the relations between the two countries, stressing the importance of the preservation of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia (1992-1995).
“As my colleague just said, Russia’s support for the Dayton Accords has no alternative. We support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional competences of its two entities and constitutionality of all three peoples in Bosnia,” Lavrov stressed. “We want the (upcoming October general) election results to reflect those principles. We appreciate everything we’ve been told here and we wish to further strengthen our cooperation. The trade-exchange between our two countries is on the constant rise with a tendency to expand even further.”
He also spoke of their discussion about the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
“We welcome the direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina but the most important thing is that the subject of their discussion gets implemented. We also agreed that foreign powers shouldn’t create conflicting situations in the Balkans,” Lavrov pointed out.
The Russian Foreign Minister recalled that his country has always had a good cooperation with the EU and the US when it comes to the harmonization of attitudes concerning the Dayton Peace Agreement and that he sees no reason why this cooperation would change.
When asked about potential Russian favourites for the upcoming general election in Bosnia, he said that their favourites are Bosnian citizens.
“We have our favourites, they’re the Bosnian citizens who will cast their vote in the election. We never recommend anyone whom they should vote for. We will respect the will of Bosnian voters,” Lavrov concluded.
After today’s visit to Sarajevo, Sergey Lavrov will visit Istocno Sarajevo and Banjaluka.