Ivancov: BiH is Muslim country to a significant extent, but not a Cradle of Terrorism

Petar Ivancov, the Ambassador of Russia to BiH, gave an interview for the Serbian edition of Sputnik, and he discussed several topics – the influence of his country in BiH, NATO membership of BiH, the dangers of terrorism, the clearing debt etc.

On the topic of strengthening influence of Russia in BiH

“Like any other state, we want to be present in BiH and that our presence corresponds the interests of our country. There is nothing bad in these interests, they are not against BiH or any of its peoples. Our interests are in development of mutually beneficial relations in different sectors. As already known, we are politically supporting BiH. We are one of the guarantors of the Dayton Agreement and our influence in these issues is primarily focused on the respect of Dayton, whose goal is a stable, independent BiH, which is part of a regional cooperation that responds to interests of all peoples in the Balkans.”

On the membership of BiH in NATO  

“Attempts to take BiH into NATO are present and they are becoming more energetic, and I think that our position is already well-known and there is no need to explain it, and we do not think that NATO membership will contribute to the strengthening of a real security of a country. We are against further spreading of NATO in the Balkans. However, it is certainly a sovereign choice of the people, and we can see that there is no unity in BiH in favor of NATO membership, at least part of the country is opposed to it.”

About the danger that terrorist base may be formed in BiH after terrorist attacks in Iraq and Syria, which was announced by Czech President Milos Zeman

“BiH is a Muslim country to a significant extent. Islam is a religion of almost half of the population in this country. However, that does not mean that BiH is a cradle of terrorism.Yes, there are some radical organizations here. Yes, around 300 of citizens of BiH participated in armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. I think that around 60 of them have been killed, and about 70 of them returned to this country. We are working with the authorities, both on the state level and in the RS, with the aim to fight the threat of terrorism. We are exchanging information, we are talking about these topics. There are threats, but threats exist in the whole Europe. BiH is no exception in this case. There is a potential threat and it needs to be countered. And we are working together on these issues. ”

On the danger of a possible disintegration of BiH

“I would not like to speculate on this topic, we signed the Dayton Agreement, and the element of this agreement, besides the equality of the entities and the equality of the three constituent peoples, is the territorial integrity of BiH. We have put our signature on this, and therefore, we support the territorial integrity of BiH as an independent state.”

(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)

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