United States (U.S.) diplomat Gabriel Escobar stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe and that “most of the threats to the Dayton Peace Agreement come from Milorad Dodik.”
He said this in an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour while talking about the situation in BiH. He stressedthat the context must be understood in order to understand the crisis in BiH
If you look at what happened in the former Yugoslavia, out of seven countries, two of them are members of the European Union (EU), four are members of NATO, many have achieved significant economic success. Of the six countries in the Western Balkans, four are making progress towards the EU. BiH is lagging behind, “ he noted.
Escobar, who is the special envoy of U.S. President Joe Biden for the Western Balkans, emphasized that BiH is among the most corrupt countries in Europe, and said that only Belarus and Azerbaijan as worse than our country. He also referred to other negative circumstances.
As he explained, people do not leave this country because they do not want to live in a multiethnic state, but because they cannot get a job without corruption.
Also, he underlined that there are threats to the Dayton Peace Agreement and that most of them come from the member of the Presidency of BiH and the president of the SNSD, Milorad Dodik. He warned that the entire region would suffer if efforts to resolve the crisis in BiH failed.
Escobar assures that the U.S. and the EU are working on preventing Dodik’s attacks on state institutions, and he called them as the attacks on the “heart of Dayton”. As another goal, he pointed out the return of Serb political representatives to state institutions.
As he said, changes to the Election Law and partial constitutional changes are aimed at achieving a more functional state.
Speaking about Germany’s insistence that those who endanger the stability of BiH must be sanctioned, he noted that in addition to sanctions, financial measures against those who work against Dayton should be considered.
To recall, Escobar visited BiH several times this year to mediate in solving key problems.