Bosnia's Serb Presidency member, Russian FM Lavrov agree: OHR should close down

NEWS 05.03.2021 17:24
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Source: Srna

Chairman and Serb member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency Milorad Dodik and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov agreed that the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina should close down instead of having a new international envoy appointed in that institution, said a statement issued by the Chairman's Cabinet on Friday.

This comes in the aftermath of the nomination of German diplomat Christian Schmidt as a candidate for the role of the High Representative in BiH, who is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the peace process in the country. Dodik has already voiced his stance and is openly advocating the closure of the OHR.

During a phone talk on Friday, Dodik and Lavrov also discussed the coronavirus vaccine procurement. The Presidency Chairman informed the Russian FM that Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity, Serb-majority semi-autonomous region where he is elected into the Presidency, has so far received 20,000 Russia-made Sputnik V vaccines, while other 20,000 are expected this weekend.

Lavrov promised that he would personally help to speed up the delivery for Republika Srpska, which signed a deal for a total of 1.2 million doses.

They also discussed further cooperation between BiH and Russia in the field of economy, agriculture, energy, education and culture.

They agreed the two countries’ relations are not burdened with open issues.

Also, Dodik thanked Lavrov for his recent visit to BiH despite “Ukraine trying to baselessly create a sensation regarding the icon for which they managed to prove nothing of what they claimed was true.”

Lavrov's visit last December was followed by a controversy over a gilded Orthodox icon that Dodik presented as a gift to the Russian diplomat. Ukrainian Embassy in Sarajevo claimed the 300-year-old icon was a part of Ukrainian cultural heritage and sent a diplomatic note to Bosnia's Foreign Ministry demanding an answer on how it came into possession of BiH Presidency member.

Dodik denied allegations, asking Ukraine to present evidence the icon belongs to that country, but Lavrov returned the gift to the donor as Bosnia's Prosecution has opened a case investigating the allegations concerning the icon.

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