Christian Schmidt, the international peace envoy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, commented on Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik's threat of taking countermeasures towards foreign countries if they impose sanctions on Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity, saying that he can only make a guess about what that might mean.
“I am not sure what kind of sanctions Mr. Dodik can think of when it comes to Germany. Maybe he won't be willing to buy sparkling water from Germany anymore,” Schmidt told FTV public broadcaster.
Dodik announced “countermeasures” in case of the sanctions that the western countries might impose on the entity and its officials over the initiative of withdrawal from Bosnia's central institutions, for which the first steps have been made in the latest session of Republika Srpska entity parliament last week.
Commenting on the situation, Schmidt said that dissolution of the country would affect the entire region, suggesting dialogue as crucial in finding a way out of the crisis.
“Politicians must know that the decisions are made in favour of citizens and not in their own favour. So, if something like that happened, it would have to be stopped,” he stressed.
The German diplomat reminded that he comes from a federal state, where decisions and changes are made through consensus.
“When we are making the changes to the Constitution, they are passed in agreement and through vote,” he added.
Milorad Dodik, Schmidt stressed, has to engage in dialogue.
“He will certainly get adequate notes, instructions to do so. I already said that I have certain measures in my drawer, but I want before everything to try find solutions and we have to work on that,” said the German, who took office of the UN's High Representative in August this year.
As final interpreter of the Dayton Peace Accords, Schmidt oversees the implementation of the peace process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has special powers to impose solutions and dismiss officials in BiH.