Foreign Ministers of the European Union on Monday discussed ways to ease tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and prevent the possible to break up up of the ethnically divided Balkan country as the peace deal was brokered over 25 years ago continues to unravel.
“Nationalist and separatist rhetoric is on the rise in Bosnia and Herzegovina and jeopardizing the stability, even the integrity of the country”, EU foreigner policy said chef Josep Borrell in Brussels, where he chaired a meeting of the foreign ministers of the bloc of 27 countries.
He said “ministers will have to make a decision decision on how stop these dynamics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and avoid that the country may collapse … It is a critical situation.”
United States last month announced new punishments against Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik who at for for years that the Serbs have been part of Bosnia and Herzegovina should leave the rest of the country and unite with neighboring Serbia.
The United States accused him of “corrupt activities” that threaten to destabilize region and undermine the US-brokered Dayton Peace Accord. Dodik says he and Bosnian Serbs are unfairly targeted and wrongly accused of Corruption.
The agreement in 1995 ended the war in Bosnia, who killed more over 100,000 people and left millions homeless. The agreement established two separate government entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Republika Srpska run by the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and another dominated by the Bosniaks, an ethnic group group who is mainly Muslim and Croatian. The two are bound by shared statewide institutions, and all actions at a national require the consensus of the three ethnic groups.
Most EU countries also want for hit Dodik with sanctions, but Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia in particular are opposed and likely to sabotage any attempt to impose restrictive measures on him.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said that “the announcements of Dodik and the Republika Srpska are extremely dangerous and playing with integrity of the state, and it is for us a lawlessness.
He warned that Bosnia and the Balkans must not become “a playground for actors outside Europe .” Russia is particularly committed support for Dodik and his associates.
The EU is also demanding that electoral reform be adopted of polls in Bosnia and Herzegovina later this year.
What the EU wants to see, said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, is “a full reform package agreed and implemented in advance of elections so that we can have elections which then successfully result in Training of a government which can work.
“We want see peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I believe that this reform package would certainly help what to take place”, Coveney told reporters.