UK Western Balkans envoy: We will not allow secession of Republika Srpska

NEWS 30.05.2022 16:02
Source: Twitter

We will not allow Republika Srpska to secede from Bosnia and Herzegovina, said UK Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, speaking at the Southeastern Europe Democracy Summit taking place in the Montenegrin coastal town of Budva on Monday.

Speaking during a panel discussion called ‘The Changing Political and Security Dynamics in the Western Balkans’, Peach also said that the European Union and NATO cooperation is essential to stability, adding that there is a need to continue to support the presence of the EU military deployment, EUFOR-Althea in Bosnia and Hercegovina, as well as KFOR in Kosovo.

“We shouldn’t take security and democracy for granted. And we shouldn’t act as if corruption and finance are divorced from security,” the envoy said.

The event was also addressed by Kurt Volker, who served as a special assistant to the US special envoy for negotiations on Bosnia and Herzegovina Richard Holbrooke, who warned that the possibility of war in BiH is “real.”

“The possibility of war in Bosnia is real. I have not seen much progress in Bosnia for years. The Bosnian government hasn’t done much to promote progress and the US and EU have reneged on our responsibilities. Now there is an opportunity to sharpen our focus,” said Volker, the former US permanent representative to NATO.

Some of the speakers warned about the peril of Russia's influence in the region, caling it “malign.”

“Russian malign influence in Montenegro dates back many decades. The only way to curb Russian influence is through EU membership and strengthening our institutions with an emphasis on the rule of law,” said Montenegro PM Dritan Abazovic.

On the other hand, Kosovo President Vjora Osmani emphasised the NATO membership for Kosovo as the only guarantee of long-term stability in the region. She stressed the improtance of the EU membership as well.

“Kosovo wants to be part of the EU, not because we see it as a cash machine, but because we subscribe to its values. Kosovo has aligned its sanctions against Russia in line with the EU and democracies. Concessions to tyrants never lead to peace,” she underlined.

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