No third party has the right to intervene against any country wishing to join NATO, and such threats are unacceptable to the North Atlantic Alliance, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu told N1 on Friday, commenting on recent threats. Russians that they will have to react if Bosnia joins NATO
“Every country has the sovereign right to choose its own security agreements. Whether countries decide to cooperate with NATO – either through partnership or as full members of the Alliance – depends on each individual applicant and the 30 Allies. No third party has the right to interfere or veto such a process. Any threat in this regard is unacceptable. The time of spheres of influence is over, “said Oana Lungescu.
“NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina have a long and mutually beneficial cooperation. Cooperation with NATO does not prejudge any possible future NATO membership for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We fully respect the sovereignty and independence of the country and welcome the continued contributions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to our Euro-Atlantic security. ”
The Russian Embassy said Thursday that BiH’s membership in NATO would be considered a “hostile act” to which the Russian Federation “should react”.
“We urge the friends of BiH to think carefully, to consider all the pros and cons, to consider the opinion of all its citizens who are far from a consensus on this issue,” the statement added. Radio Free Europe.
Two of the three members of the BiH Presidency, Šefik Dikaferoviov and Željko Komšić, respectively, reacted to the Russian Embassy statement.
“BiH’s foreign policy goals are set by the BiH Foreign Policy Strategy. When it comes to its membership in NATO, the process is determined by the Law on Defense and the decisions of the BiH Presidency. “Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue on that path, regardless of the views and opinions of the Embassy of the Russian Federation,” Džaferović’s Cabinet announced.
Zeljko Komcic, a Croatian member of the tripartite presidency, said the Russian embassy should be aware of some facts based on decisions by BiH institutions that the embassy should respect, especially given Russia’s recently stated position on respecting decisions taken by BiH institutions.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted a formal application for participation in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for NATO in 2009 in accordance with the decision of the then Presidency of BiH. The following year -2010- at the NATO session in Tallinn, Bosnia was invited to the MPA where a condition was set; registration of military real estate. That condition was lifted at the NATO session on December 5, 2018, when Bosnia was invited to participate in the MPA. I would like to remind you that the MPA, NATO’s plan for countries with aspirations for membership, started in 1999 with the aim of preparing those countries aspiring to NATO membership. “Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia have passed it,” Komcic said.
He added that, for its part, Bosnia and Herzegovina began its participation in the MPA by presenting the first Reform Program adopted in November 2019, which was immediately presented at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
“As for the announcement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, it certainly constitutes the continuation of their activities towards all countries aspiring to NATO membership and, unfortunately, more often such activities are manifested causing greater difficulties or more small. This was the case in Montenegro and later in northern Macedonia on their journey to NATO membership. Undoubtedly, a Russian geopolitical game aims to stop NATO enlargement in Europe. However, this is not only a message to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also to our NATO allies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and others. “Political speech with a lot of ‘twisted’ threats is certainly not acceptable to them, nor to us in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Komic concluded.
The statement also faced criticism from various international institutions and analysts but not from Serbian member and BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik, considered the “Russian man in the Balkans” and the main opponent of BiH’s NATO membership.