US Committee: Bosnia dysfunctional and susceptible to Russia and China influence

NEWS 08.12.2020 18:55
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Source: Reuters

After the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war, Bosnia became dysfunctional, susceptible to the Russian and Chinese influence and threatened by the secessionist rhetoric from its Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity, witnesses at the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs' hearing on Tuesday.

The Dayton Peace Agreement ended the war in Bosnia, but it made the country stuck within its dysfunctional system, and its RS entity is blocking the decisions which are in the state interest, which must stop, Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said in his opening address at the hearing titled “The Balkans: Policy Recommendations for the Next Administration.”

Participants in the hearing were Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State, Daniel Serwer, PhD. Director, American Foreign Policy Director, Conflict Management School of Advanced International Studies Johns Hopkins University and Janusz Bugajski Senior Fellow The Jamestown Foundation.

Congressman Michael McCaul spoke after Chairman Engel, saying the challenges in the region were present despite the progress made over the past 30 years.

He too warned of Bosnia's dysfunctionality and the lack of sustainable democracy in the country. The congressman also pointed to Serbia's ties with China and Russia and warned of Russia's “destructive agenda” undermining regional integration.

The newly elected President of the United States must consult with Europeans on the Balkan region, Daniel Serwer said noting that the US should pressure the EU to sanction those who advocate the independence of the Republika Srpska entity.

He also pointed out that the US need to stop Croatian and Serbian meddling in Bosnia's internal affairs and help Bosnia qualify for EU membership.

Analyst Janusz Bugajski, like speakers before him, pointed to key problems in the region, namely relations between Serbia and Kosovo, the situation in Bosnia and the influence of China and Russia.

He stressed, among other things, that the US administration should focus on the sensitive elements in the region used by the Kremlin.

In his opinion, no status quo is indefinite, and neither will be Bosnia's complex system of government which causes the stagnation of the country.

Sooner or later the situation will explode in Bosnia, which is why it is important for the US to work together with the EU on the creation of an appropriate Constitution, Bugajski stressed, warning the Committee that once the situation becomes unbearable the Serb-majority Republika Srpska could decide to secede expecting the recognition from Russia.

This scenario must be avoided at all costs, he said, because it would be bloody.

The entire hearing can be seen at THIS LINK.