Bosnia & Herzegovina

BiH: UN Security Council extends EUFOR mandate, HR did not speak

After several days of intense diplomatic activity, the UN Security Council held its most unusual session on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 25-year post-war period. A regular overview of these sessions was that the UN Security Council extended the mandate of foreign troops in the country, then the High Representative read his report blaming Serbian politicians (regardless of which party is in power) for a bad situation and weakness of institutions. Russia expresses disagreement – and so, see you in six months.

Late Wednesday evening (by CET) the UN for the first time did not hear a 14-page long report on the “bad Serbs”. According to the agreement in the Council and at the Russian request, the High Representative Christian Schmidt did not address the participants. But the report was submitted to the ambassadors earlier. Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia reminded other ambassadors that Republika Srpska also sent its report on the situation in the country.

In fact, following the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Wednesday, Nebenzja said that the deteriorating political situation in BiH is the result of irresponsible actions from abroad. He stressed that the Schmidt report is a “one-sided and anti-Serb document, the sole purpose of which is to destroy any trace of understanding and co-operation in the country”, calling the OHR “the source of all problems”.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN also said that former High Representative Valentin Inzko acted as an autocrat who imposed changes to the Criminal Code, adding that trying to appoint Christian Schmidt to this position in a “non-ceremonial manner” is a violation of international law. as well as the established practice of appointing a candidate to this position. This position is still vacant, he stressed, adding that there is currently no High Representative in BiH or a candidate for the position.

Since 2015, when Vitaly Churkin vetoed the Srebrenica Resolution, this was the most agile defense of Serbs in the UN Security Council. Even the Serbian ambassador to the UN, Nemanja Stevanovic, has just reiterated the old position that Bosnia and Herzegovina needs peace and that Serbia respects BiH’s territorial integrity, in relation to any agreement between the parties in BiH.

The hearing closed but questions remain. Why did the American ambassador give the green light to the Russian ultimatum? Why, for the first time, did HR not address the Council? What will be the next step of those who consider Serbs as the main factor in the destruction of BiH? What does it mean for Russia to justify the withdrawal of Republika Srpska’s consent to the establishment of important state-level institutions?

BiH expects many responses in the coming months.

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