The head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler said on Thursday that the unanimous decision by the UN Security Council to extend the EUFOR mandate, is good news that guarantees stability in the country shaken by the latest most difficult political crisis since 1995.
The importance of EUFOR has prevailed in the end and the role it has in maintaining a safe environment in BiH. This decision comes at a crucial time when the political situation is very sensitive, Sattler told reporters in Sarajevo.
He confirmed that the EU Delegation will continue its close cooperation with the international community's High Representative (OHR) Christian Schmidt, whose mandate is being questioned by Russia and China.
Russia had conditioned voting in support of the extension of the EU's military mission in BiH, saying that Schmidt should not be allowed to personally submit his report on the situation in BiH.
Russia objects to Schmidt's appointment because it had previously asked that his mandate in BiH be extended no longer than the summer of 2022. That was not accepted by Western powers and Schmidt was appointed by a majority decision of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC). Since then Russia, along with authorities in the Republika Srpska (RS) Serb entity, have rejected to communicate with the German diplomat in his current position.
Sattler said that the EU clearly supports Schmidt and his mandate.
Media in the Serb half of Bosnia and Herzegovina tried to portray Dodik as having won a huge diplomatic victory because Russia managed to prevent Schmidt from addressing the UN Security Council, but it did not mention the fact that Dodik had earlier claimed that he would do his utmost, with Russia's support, to prevent extending the term of EUFOR.