BiH Ambassador to Russia: Republika Srpska prevents sanctions against Russia

NEWS 26.08.2022 17:40
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Source: Željko Samardžija (N1)

Thanks to the firm position of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity and BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik, there was not nor will there be an agreement in the Presidency on any joining of BiH to sanctions or initiatives to condemn Russia, said BiH Ambassador to Russia Zeljko Samardzija.

He emphasized that Russia has been one of Bosnia’s most important foreign trade partners so far, and that he hopes it will remain so in the future.

“Given that BiH didn’t join the sanctions against Russia, we can count on a privileged status in foreign trade with Russia. For example, we hope to get gas at a very favourable price, and that means a lot for the economy and the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Samardzija told the Russian FAN Agency.

Noting that now the price of gas on the market has reached a record level, and that winter and cold days are ahead, Samardzija says that he does not believe that someone in Sarajevo, which is the main gas consumer in BiH, will turn off the gas in their apartment because they do not support the Russian aggression on Ukraine or because they do not like Russia.

Samardzija said that, in accordance with the Constitution, the BiH foreign policy is led by the country’s Presidency and that “this country can only function on the principles of agreement between two entities and three peoples.”

According to him, the “individual joining of sanctions” against Russia in Brussels, Strasbourg or New York “are the result of the arbitrariness of the ambassadors in those places who work on the orders of the party centers in Sarajevo.”

The Ambassador emphasized that there is a consensus in BiH regarding the European path, but that the question is how honest Europe is in its relationship with BiH.

“If the goal of the EU is the unitization of BiH and the abolition of the powers belonging to the RS in accordance with the Dayton Agreement, that path will become thorny,” he added.

Samardzija stated that there is no single position in BiH when it comes to NATO, and recalled that the RS entity Assembly passed the Resolution on military neutrality stipulating that the will of the “representatives of the people” must be respected.

“Joining NATO is impossible without the consent of the RS, that's obvious,” Samardzija concluded.

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