The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Liz Truss, was already declared a friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Support for territorial integrity and sovereignty, protection of the Dayton Peace Agreement, opposition to nationalist rhetoric and denial of genocide, and support for sanctions against Milorad Dodik and, ultimately, the future of BiH in partnership with the NATO alliance, are the key topics of Liz Truss’s last visit to our country. The support is unequivocal and clearly expressed. Will the change in her function mean a change for BiH as well?
In May of this year, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UK, she brought friendly messages, but also a promise that the relations between the two countries will be even better, as well as greater investments and, crucially, support for the way to joining the NATO alliance. It was a very important visit, because then, in front of the head of our country, Liz Truss chose a more advanced and safer BiH without dangerous and harmful external influences. In the meantime, changes have taken place. From minister to prime minister. But, in BiH, there remains hope that she has not forgotten what she promised.
The shock doctrine
”Her meeting at the Ministry of Defense is crucial here, where she clearly said that there is no Russian influence in BiH, that the UK will not allow it, and that BiH will become a full member of NATO,” Zijad Becirovic points out, director of the International Institute for the Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES).
Great promises, but with the arrival of a higher position, the possibilities also grow. As a prime minister, she can do more. NATO is high on the list of priorities, but it is certain that the help of large and stronger countries is necessary on this path. But the question is, does the newly appointed Prime Minister Truss have an entrance ticket to this alliance?
”It is very difficult to observe BiH in the context of relations between the UK and the European Union (EU), especially because we are insignificant and yet relations between the UK and the EU are happening on many levels, they are quite bad at the moment, but we still have not come across some kind of clear materialization,” states political analyst Adnan Huskic.
”The doctrine of shock should be used when there are major events to use it to the advantage of BiH both in terms of membership in NATO, but also in terms of membership in the EU. Major events lead to major changes, and here I am counting on positive changes when it comes to BiH,” Becirovic concludes.
A group that lobbies for the interests of BiH
Changes are difficult to predict, but it is certain that the support of this superpower is important. Good relations with the UK can be a saving grace for BiH’s crisis.
‘There is a strong group that lobbies for the interests of BiH in the UK. Not only Baroness Helic, but many other people who are well aware of the problems of BiH, aware of what is actually the essential problem in this country and act accordingly,” Huskic emphasized.
The truth is cruel. BiH is only a small, often insignificant point on the global scale. The little importance it gains only as part of the regional story. The initial position towards the EU and NATO is not at an enviable level. Just like what has been done so far. Even with friendly help, BiH will have a hard time reaching union and alliance, because we know that there is no way to get there empty-handed, Avaz writes.
Newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom(UK), Liz Truss, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the end of May, and on that occasion sent several important messages. One of them was that the UK is a leader in providing support to BiH.
During her visit, Truss met with members of the Presidency of BiH, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and gave a speech in the Armed Forces of BiH Hall.
“I am glad that I came to see the situation in person and to be sure that the UK is a leader in supporting this very important country. I also welcome the position of Bisera Turkovicregarding the terrible Russian aggression against Ukraine. It is necessary that we work even harder in BiHto protect peace and prevent the country from returning to conflict,” Truss said after a meeting with BiH Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic.
She pointed out that history is a reminder of what happens when aggression is not opposed.
“The genocide in Srebrenica, the siege of Sarajevo, these are just two crimes that horrified us, so we said that this must never happen again in Europe,” Truss told at the time.
She explained there are signs of Russian meddling and that they are an open threat of returning to the dark days and that must be stopped.
This is a matter of the moment, we choose freedom and democracy, not negative influence and corruption. Today,theUK is the country that announces a new investment package for the Western Balkans in energy, infrastructure as an alternative to investments that lead to negative impacts,” said Truss and mentioned the 100 billion dollars of investments that the UKplans to invest in the Western Balkans.
“As Turkovic said, we want to work through NATO to strengthen security and consolidate the success we see in BiH. In addition to the situation here, we must monitor the issue of European security as a whole. We see Russian interference here as well, but the people of Ukraine also need our support as well as the support of the free world. We must be sure that we support those who bravely fight for their country,” Turkovic said about BiH‘s NATO perspective.
On that occasion, Truss also commented on the member of the Presidency, Milorad Dodik, who was sanctioned by the UK.
“We imposed sanctions on Dodik as well as others who work on destabilization. It is important for the future that we see progress in the economy, democracy. The UKclearly acts against those who seek to undermine progress and we call on all partners to act and ensure that those who undermine peace be held accountable.
What we see happening in Russia is the economy faltering, services that used to be available now are not, investments from the free world are being withdrawn. We have always said this clearly, sanctions take time. It is necessary to persevere in cutting off gas supplies from Russia to Europe because then Russia’s military machine cannot be financed,” Truss emphasized.
Together with the mayor of Sarajevo, Benjamina Karic, she visited the memorial to the murdered children of Sarajevo and laid flowers.
In a speech at the Armed Forces of BiH Hall, Truss emphasized that BiH is a reliable partner in the region that pointed to the illegal behavior of Russia.
“The future of BiH lies in sovereignty and self-determination, in a stronger partnership with NATO and countries like the UK,” Truss pointed out, Klix.ba writes.