Washington and some of the western European countries are conducting a policy of dragging Bosnia and Herzegovina into the NATO, violating in that way a United Nations Security Council's resolution, said chief of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov, Russian media reported.
“The USA and some leading western European countries demand from the Bosniak and some Croat politicians under their influence to take the course towards the creation of a unitary state in Bosnia. The goal is simple – taking Bosnia into the NATO,” said Lavrov in a speech at the meeting of the Valdai Club, a Moscow-based think tank.
Responding to the statement, Bosnian Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic recalled the Russian diplomat of his statement during the visit to Bosnia last year.
“Then message of minister Lavrov to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina was that Russia is, in principle, against the NATO enlargement, but that if NATO was our choice, Russia will respect such decision of our country's institutions,” said Komsic.
“And the decision of this country's institutions, the unanimous decision of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was never revoked, retracted or amended, is that Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to be a NATO member state, and it still exists today,” he told a local news website in Bosnia.
The Presidency Chairman called on the Russian FM to “respect what he said i.e. to respect the decisions of the institutions of the states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that, as he earlier said, he respected.”
The NATO accession is a burning issue in Bosnia, where three major ethnic groups who make the decisions disagree over the country's NATO path.
While Bosnian Serb leadership strongly object it, the Croat and Bosniak politicians are in favour of stronger ties with the alliance and eventually joining in.
To hinder Sarajevo's ambitions of joining the NATO, Bosnia's Serb-dominated region, Republika Srpska, passed a decision in 2017 to proclaim military neutrality.
The RS discussed joining the alliance but the situation is now different, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik recently said. His SNSD party, which rules the RS, previously supported the stronger cooperation.
Ex Serb Presidency member, SNSD's official Nebojsa Radmanovic personally submitted Bosnia's request for a Membership Activation Plan (MAP), an essential step on the country's path towards the membership.