UK FM to secessionists: Bosnia's future is in greater partnership with NATO

NEWS 26.05.2022 09:21
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Source: Foto: Oli SCARFF / AFP

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is paying a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, where she will use an address to the Bosnian Armed Forces to tell allies and partners there must be no “backsliding” in support for Ukraine, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Truss will also “address the secessionists within BiH directly,” and tell them that the country's future lies in the greater partnership with NATO.

According to the FCDO's statement, Truss will re-affirm UK’s commitment to peace and stability in the Western Balkans, in the face of Russian malign influence.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will today (Thursday 26 May) warn against “appeasement” of Vladimir Putin and tell allies and partners there must be no “backsliding” in support for Ukraine.

“Truss will use a speech to BiH armed forces to rally allies for greater support for Ukraine, including delivering more weapons and targeted sanctions, and argue “we must all learn the lessons of history” in standing up to Putin, ensuring he loses in Ukraine,” it said.

The UK foreign minister will stress that BiH has been a “vocal partner in the region, calling out Russia’s illegal behaviour in Ukraine.”

In a speech to the BiH armed forces at Sarajevo’s Army Hall, the Foreign Secretary will also say that Russia’s aggression cannot be appeased and must be met with strength.

“We must not allow a prolonged and increasingly painful conflict to develop in Ukraine. We must be relentless in ensuring Ukraine prevails through military aid and sanctions. We can’t take our foot off the accelerator now.”

Also, she will re-affirm the UK’s commitment to peace and stability in the Western Balkans, announcing UK plans to deepen its security and economic partnership with BiH in the face of secessionists and Russian attempts to influence and destabilise the country, a quarter-of-a-century since one of the worst conflicts in Europe. She will announce her aim to mobilise $100 million of UK-backed investment in Western Balkans by 2025, through investment partnerships agenda.

Addressing the secessionists within BiH directly, after sanctioning two political figures last month for their destabilising behaviour, Truss will say that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future lies in sovereignty and self-determination, in greater partnership with NATO and countries like the UK.

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