Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) nationalists are working to destroy the state. With the prospect of success. The Kremlin supports them, and the West allows them, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) comments.
‘‘Fractions within the traffic light coalition dared to take a step forward. In the Bundestag, they submitted a resolution entitled ‘Helping BiH on the Road to a Better Future.” The resolution was supposed to be adopted in the plenary last week, but now it should first disappear in the committees of the Parliament.
According to information from party circles, SPD delegate in the Bundestag Josip Juratovic, influenced the party to prevent the condemnation of the nationalist Croat leader Dragan Covic, which was contained in the resolution. Covic and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik have been described as ‘nationalists’ and people working to destroy BiH as a state. This policy, the resolution states, requires resolute, and fierce resistance from the European Union (EU),” is stated in a comment by SZ Alexander Rhotert.
Rarely such clear words can be heard about BiH. But they are important because the region is in danger of being dragged into the vortex of the Ukrainian war, according to the SZ.
The newspaper then lists, as it calls them, the ‘incidents’ behind Milorad Dodik and Dragan Covic, and asks what the High Representative in BiH, Christian Schmidt, is actually doing.
”All of these incidents failed to mobilize the guardian of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, the High Representative (and former German Minister of Agriculture) to intervene. His problem is his closeness to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, to whom he often attributes ‘moderate influence’ in BiH. He completely denies that Vucic and Dodik are a well-coordinated duo with identical goals. Even the death threats made to him in Dodik’s presence were ignored by Schmidt,” the SZ writes.
He thus encourages such political hooligans, it is further stated.
He did not consider it necessary to criticize unconstitutional manifestations such as Dodik’s military parade. Admittedly, that would be more symbolic, but the symbolism is very important in the Balkans. Schmidt is the first High Representative in 27 years to succeed in being distrusted by all parties, actors, and citizens. One of his predecessors, Lord Paddy Ashdown, in contrast, was once the most popular politician in the country in polls.
The second front in the Balkans
”The one to whom all this suits, sits in Moscow. Putin would benefit from opening a second front in the Balkans. With a simple investment, he could achieve maximum return: BiH is not on the periphery of the EU but in its inner backyard. New secession and violence could spill over from BiH very quickly to other countries of the former Yugoslavia. North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, as well as Serbia itself are all multiethnic, fragile countries. The peace-building work that the West has been working on for the past 27 years is acutely compromised. Tens of billions of euros have been invested here by Washington and Brussels. BiH is the largest development project since the Marshall Plan after World War II.
It must be clear: every policy of appeasement generates more and more fierce Serbian provocations. This creates a very toxic mixture similar to the early 1990s. The decision to double the EU peacekeeping force in BiH after Moscow’s attack on Ukraine is a step in the right direction. But still only one step.
To deter, the current 1.100 troops would need to be at least doubled and equipped with tanks. And Brussels should supply the legitimate security institutions of BiH, namely the Armed Forces, the ‘state’ police, and the Border Guard, with modern weapons. Should that happen, the EU will also be spared another debate on arms deliveries. Otherwise, no one should be surprised if one morning Putin’s ‘little green men’ appear in Banja Luka, as in Crimea in 2014,” the SZ commented, Avaz writes.