'BiH Croat and Bosniak Presidency members should have met with Sergey Lavrov'

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Source: N1

BiH's Croat and Bosniak Presidency members Zeljko Komsic and Sefik Dzaferovic were wrong not to confront Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over what they said were Russian attempts to interfere in Bosnia's internal policy, Frederick Ben Hodges, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. ground forces in Europe told Voice of America (VOA) on Wednesday.

“I think they were wrong not to meet Lavrov. It would have been a lot better had they done that and publicly confronted him over his attacks on BiH's integrity and sovereignty, as well as his support for Milorad Dodik's separatist statements,” Hodges told VOA.

He recalled that Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik usually blames the West saying they are the ones breaking the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, “despite breaking it himself.”

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“This time he said Lavrov came to Republika Srpska and tomorrow he will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the fact that Republika Srpska is an entity in Bosnia,” Hodges noted.

At the same time, Paul McCarthy, international Republican Institute's (IRI) Regional Director for Europe said Russia's Lavrov is a lot closer to Dodik and that he wants to preserve the present divisions in the country.

“He actually wants to prevent a possible revision of the Dayton Agreement. Other Presidency members disagree with Lavrov's claims that the Dayton Peace Agreement was written in stone and unchangeable,” he notes.

McCarthy also believer Russia undermines Bosnia's statehood, adding they want the country to remain divided.

“The existence of a special Serb entity which doesn't cooperate with the West is absolutely in Russia's interest,” the IRI Director for Europe told VOA.