G7 Ministers: Secessionist policies of Bosnia's RS entity won't be tolerated

NEWS 14.05.2022 16:33
Source: Šefovi diplomatije zemalja članica G7 (Marcus Brandt/Pool via REUTERS)

G7 ministers expressed concern about the “deepening political crisis” in Bosnia and strongly condemned attempts to “undermine the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country”, stressing that “secessionist policies” of BiH’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity will not be tolerated.

The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, stated that they met on Saturday “in a fundamentally changed strategic and security environment.”

“The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is a watershed moment for the 21st century and carries dramatic consequences far beyond Europe. We, the G7, want to make abundantly clear that we will not sit by whilst countries flagrantly disregard the international rulebook, on which we all depend for peace, prosperity, security and stability,” the ministers said in a statement.

“We are concerned about the deepening political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and condemn any attempt to undermine the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. We will not tolerate Republika Srpska’s secessionist policies, which endanger Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future and the stability in the region,” the statement stressed.

The G7 ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the European perspective of the six Western Balkan countries “to ensure the security, stability and prosperity of the region” and welcomed that “the Western Balkans stand united in condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, especially in the UN General Assembly (UNGA).”

They commended Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia for fully aligning their foreign policies with the EU, including sanctions and their implementation, but also urged Serbia to do the same.

“We welcome the alignment of Bosnia and Herzegovina with EU restrictive measures on Russia and unilateral alignment of Kosovo with those measures. We must continue to help Western Balkans to reduce their dependency on Russian hydrocarbons and vulnerability to economic coercion,” the statement said.

“We are concerned about the deepening political crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and condemn any attempt to undermine the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. We will not tolerate Republika Srpska’s secessionist policies, which endanger Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future and the stability in the region,” the statement stressed.

The G7 ministers urged the return to the full functionality of governments at all levels in BiH “to resume their work fully, putting aside divisive and inflammatory rhetoric and avoiding any act that could destabilise Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

They called upon all parties in the country to ensure that general elections are held as foreseen in October and expressed full support for the mandate of the High Representative of the international community who oversees the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, Christian Schmidt.

They also expressed support for the executive mandate of the EUFOR ALTHEA operation “to maintain a safe and secure environment in the country.”

“We urge Kosovo and Serbia to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated Dialogue, to fully implement all past agreements with no delay, and to normalize their relations through a comprehensive and legally binding agreement, which will allow for the realization of their respective European perspectives, contribute to regional stability and benefit all people in the region. We support progress on inclusive regional cooperation and energy transition especially through the Common Regional Market and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans within the framework of the Berlin Process,” the statement also said.

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