The special envoy of the Federal Government of Germany for the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin spoke in the interview about the relations of that country with Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the damage done by Milorad Dodik by blocking the appointment of the ambassador, and also about the electoral law.
You recently wrote about the key problems and challenges in BiH in an author’s text with the Great Britain’s envoy for the Western Balkans. What is the German government ready to do to stop threats of secession of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, to stop threats of territorial reorganization and for BiH to move forward?
Germany stands firmly on the side of BiH and all the people who want to make this country successful. Many Germans have family ties here. Human, economic and cultural ties between our countries are very strong. Our bilateral ties are close and based on trust. We provided comprehensive and multifaceted support to BiH.
The German government has therefore repeatedly emphasized clearly that there will be response to threats to the statehood of BiH. Together with our domestic and international partners, we support BiH on its path towards European and Euro-Atlantic structures. On that path, this country needs a government that faces challenges in a serious way and does its job seriously. The policy of blockades or secession only harms the country and its people. It also scares investors.
Is Germany considering some kind of financial punishment of Dodik or RS?
Germany has already clearly shown that German taxpayers’ money will no longer be poured into an entity that is actively undermining the state of BiH and which, according to Mr. Dodik’s statement, wishes to secede. Together with our European partners, we withhold extensive financial assistance for projects in the RS and will continue to do so, as long as the political leadership of that entity continues to question peace.
Does Germany support the High Representative in imposing changes to the Election Law and the Federation of BiH (FBiH)Constitution at this time? It seems that he is just waiting for the green light from Berlin?
Germany stands for a peaceful order in BiH. The function of the High Representative forms an integral part of it and is deeply rooted in it. Germany stands firmly behind High Representative Christian Schmidt. His previous decisions contributed to the elections being held on October 2nd and made them more transparent. However, right before the elections, I would not wish for further changes to the Election Law.
BiH must reform the Election Law and implement the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Also, it is clear that there must be no deepening of ethnic tensions and that the election result will have to be accepted. State institutions must not be blocked. As a member of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), Germany is ready to support this process in the future in close cooperation with the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and our international partners, Klix.ba reports.