Dragan Covic, the leader of the strongest Bosnian Croat Party, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) called for an urgent ceasefire and dialogue in Ukraine, but criticism was soon to follow from all over Europe.
“As part of the united European family, peace is the collective and permanent commitment of our country. With devastating developments, invasion and war in #Ukraine, we call again for an urgent ceasefire, solidarity, and dialogue,” Covic tweeted.
Soon after reactions and condemnations followed.
One of the first was baroness Arminka Helic who wrote “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
Faruk Vele, a famous BiH journalist also wrote a comment on Covic's message. Namely, he published a photo from the World Cup in Russia in 2018, which shows Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, Dragan Covic, HDZ BiH leader and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the then President of Croatia.
The photo was taken when the Croatian national football team won second place in the championship.
“Unfortunately, there is little Russian influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Vele wrote above the photo, quoting Covic, who said this in February 2020.
Among the sharpest critics was Tineke Strick, a Euro-parliamentarian who wrote:
Deeply embarrassing and worrying that HDZ leader Dragan Covic is unable to clearly condemn Putin’s aggression. Anyone issuing these kind of ambiguous statements at this moment of time is evidently not interested in democracy, international law and European security.