Fmr High Representative: Schmidt faces reduced legitimacy in Bosnia

NEWS 28.05.2021 17:30
Source: N1

Russia's decision not to vote for Christian Schmidt's appointment for High Representative in BiH is regretful, yet expected, former High Representative to BiH Wolfgang Petritsch told N1, adding that Schmidt's legitimacy will now be reduced, which is the worst possible solution

“This is definitely the worst possible outcome and Mr Schmidt will come to a position with reduced legitimacy. I wonder if the Security Council will resolve this issue because Russia is a member and it has its say,” Wolfgang Petritsch said.

He noted that all High Representatives had the support of the Security Council and thus the High Representative had greater legitimacy to act. That is not the case at the moment, he warned.

“Unfortunately, the proposal I made a few years ago that the Office of the High Representative should be closed and that the EU, the United States and other countries should create a new platform to ensure the support of BiH, was not accepted. We now have the worst possible solution,” Petritsch said.

The former High Representative added that Lord Paddy Ashdown was the last to have full support. He stressed that this is “a political problem where not only Germany, as a candidate country, but the EU and the US really need to seriously consider their next step.

“This is truly a fiasco of the international community. We have been going with the same institution for the past 25 years. That never gave a solution to a crisis situation. I'm really worried,” Petritsch stressed.

According to him, the main problem in BiH is not ethnic. It is just a construct of corrupt politicians. He claims that the main problem is huge corruption.

“Young people are leaving the country. We need to have a new international setting with the US, the EU and maybe the United Kingdom and all countries like Japan that has given a lot of support to BiH in the past,” Petritsch concluded.

The Peace Implementation Council decided on Thursday, that the new High Representative, in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, should be a German diplomat Christian Schmidt. This decision was rejected by the Russian Embassy who warned that without its confirmation at the UN Security Council, Schmidt would not have the legal legitimacy to perform this function.


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