March 4. 2024. 8:04

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Disunited Bosnia leaders travel to Brussels


The three members of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s presidency will be in Brussels on Wednesday but are unlikely to show a united front, with most internal differences over the sanctions against Russia, which Bosnian Serbs refuse to impose.

The three will talk to European Council President Charles Michel. Bosnia and Herzegovina became an EU candidate in December, largely on the back of a renewed sense of the importance of the bloc’s enlargement process, but it now needs to demonstrate progress in implementing democratic reforms and bridging ethnic differences.

As an EU candidate, BiH is expected to align with the bloc’s foreign policy, including when it comes to sanctions.

However, the Serb member of the collective presidency and its current chairperson, Željka Cvijanović, will “vehemently oppose any change in the relations with Russia”, Klix.ba reported.

It cited the wish of Milorad Dodik, president of the Serb half of Bosnia, Republika Srpska, to follow the narrative of “special and emotional ties of the Serb people and the Russian people”.

The Bosniak and Croat presidency members, Denis Bećirović and Željko Komšić, could instead call for some kind of sanctions against Republika Srpska authorities, particularly following their endorsement of a “Serb statehood day” parade.

The parade was held on 9 January in defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling that declared it unconstitutional.

Dodik himself has been under US sanctions for undermining peace and stability in BiH.

(Zoran Radosavljević | EURACTIV.com)