In a Friday interview with Bosnian daily Oslobodjenje, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov supported the policy pursued by BiH Serb presidency member Milorad Dodik, rejecting assessments that his actions are a direct threat to peace in BiH and the region.
Lavrov said that Russia sees the efforts to revise the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in the country, as problematic and not Dodik's secessionist policy.
“I will be honest, we are concerned about the unprecedented decline in the level of interethnic dialogue and trust in the country throughout the post-conflict period. In our opinion, this is related to the intensification of attempts to revise Dayton's ethno-administrative architecture, as encouraged from the outside in favour of the unitarization and centralization of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the detriment of constitutional powers of the constituent peoples and entities,” Lavrov said assessing that such a policy is extremely dangerous for the situation in the country, the region and Europe as a whole.
He also said that Russia has almost no partner in the West to discuss such theses, just as there are no Western interlocutors for the situation in the Western Balkans in general.
“I must mention that lately Washington has been avoiding talking to us not only about BiH but also about the Balkan issues as such. We hope that the Biden administration will have enough political will and reasons not to turn the Balkans into another front of the confrontation directed against Russia. Otherwise, it will have disastrous consequences for Europe as a whole,” the Russian Foreign minister said.
Lavrov accused former High Representative in BiH Valentin Inzko of causing the current deepening of the crisis in the country and his decision to impose changes to the Criminal Code, in late July, that made any denial of war crimes confirmed by international and domestic courts a criminal offence.
The Russian diplomat paid an official visit to BiH in December 2020, and even then, before the political crisis in the country escalated, he openly supported Dodik. Due to Lavrov's problematization of BiH's approach to NATO membership, members of the BiH Presidency Zeljko Komsic and Sefik DZaferovic refused to meet with him.