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Bosnia & Herzegovina

UN Security Council adjourns session on BiH

The UN Security Council adjourned its session on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to problems with Russian opposition to international envoy Christian Schmidt.

As the media in BiH reported, the session was supposed to be dedicated to the situation in BiH and the members had to decide on the extension of EUFOR’s mandate for another term. The hearing is due to take place in the coming days, as the current EUFOR mandate ends on 5 November.

The second important issue at the hearing was supposed to be Schmidt’s first report to the UN Security Council on the situation in BiH. The media said his report warns of a “very real” prospect of a return to conflict and calls for a reassessment of the international military presence, if necessary. He is suspected of accusing the president of BiH’s largest Serbian party, Milorad Dodik, of “endangering the Dayton Peace Accords” by causing a new conflict in the country.

The Russian delegation to the UN Security Council is said to be dissatisfied with such assessments and threatens to veto all decisions, including the extension of EUFOR’s mandate. A few months ago, the Russian delegation expressed dissatisfaction with the way Schmidt was appointed to the post of High Representative, without the consent of the UN Security Council. They said Schmidt was not appointed under the rules and that his decisions had no legal value at all.

In July this year, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution proposed by Russia and China, which called for the closure of the Office of the High Representative and the termination of its powers. This is exactly what Dodik has been asking for years and the Russians seem to be on his side. But the international community, including Russia, set some conditions a few years ago that the state must meet to end the international protectorate and take its fate entirely into its own hands. These conditions are far from being met as the three national communities in the state cannot agree on even the most basic issues.

At the moment it is not possible to predict what will happen in the coming days. Supported by the Russians, Dodik could implement the plan to withdraw Republika Srpska’s consent to the establishment of various important state-level institutions. This would take Bosnia and Herzegovina to a new level of instability.

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