The Russian Embassy to Bosnia said on Tuesday it appreciates the explanations offered by the main Bosniak party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path toward NATO membership which Russia previously expressed its concern about.
Russia stated on March 18 that in case of a “practical rapprochement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and NATO, our country will have to react to this hostile step.”
Moscow said via its Embassy in Sarajevo that it was concerned after it saw “numerous publications praising the advantages of Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership in NATO,” and called on its “BiH friends to think carefully, to consider all pros and cons, to take into consideration the opinion of all its citizens who are far from a consensus on this matter.”
This prompted a reaction from the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), which said Bosnia and Russia are friends and that Bosnia does not plan to put that friendship into question in any way.
“At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a sovereign country, and, like the Russian Federation, intends to choose its own path, based on the will of its citizens represented by their representatives in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly,” the party said.
The SDA said that all decisions which brought Bosnia closer to NATO were agreed on by representatives in state institutions from all three constituent peoples, including the Serbs and that “nobody in Bosnia and Herzegovina would ever participate in any alliance that would threaten the people of Russia.”
The Russian Embassy responded on Tuesday, thanking the party “for the detailed explanation of the position of the Party of Democratic Action, i.e. our understanding of the issue that is important for European security.”
The Embassy noted that it was particularly satisfied with the party’s statement that said the country would never be part of any alliance that would be a threat to the people of Russia.
“We hope that these provisions will be clearly emphasized during the dialogue between the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and NATO,” the Embassy said, adding that it was looking forward to a closer cooperation with the Party of Democratic Action.
It offered help in establishing contacts between the SDA and parties in Russia that are ideologically close to it.
“We assume that the Embassy's efforts, including the organization planned for the next visit of the Russian delegation led by the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov to Bosnia and Herzegovina, will contribute to the expanding cooperation between our friendly countries and peoples,” the Russian Embassy in BiH said.