Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic likes to say that he is a factor of stability in the Balkans. When it comes to his relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), he always gives ambiguous messages that he respects the territorial integrity of the state, but also the integrity of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, which in the field, on various grounds ties with Serbia.
Have you ever heard that Aleksandar Vucic said during his visit to Banja Luka: “Serbs, Sarajevo is your capital, and BiH is your homeland that you should be proud of.” You certainly could not hear, but instead, he talked about how RS is something special for Serbia.
This is reflected in the special ties that try to humiliate BiH as a state, to present it as dysfunctional and unsustainable. Of course, Vucic says on every question about BiH that he supports territorial integrity, that he wants good cooperation, economic relations, he is happy to donate vaccines and the like. But, the restraint he makes towards the RS is an essence that emphasizes double standards.
BiH as a country of Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, and all other peoples living in it is only possible to exist in that form. Such a state has its own capital and state institutions that should be the first address for foreign policy. However, in the meantime, a story is being spread about how Sarajevo does not want cooperation and how it is blocking investments (hydroelectric power plants, airport…). And what is the fact? Serbia plans its investments with the entity, although the entity does not have that jurisdiction. Serbia is thus consciously contributing to internal animosity by skipping Sarajevo and state institutions.
At the same time, Vucic, in his country, in Sandzak, while addressing the Bosniak population, said that Serbia is their homeland. And there is nothing disputable here, just to apply the same approach in Banja Luka. Then he might be able to convince all of us that he is a factor of stability, that he is honest in his policy, and that he wants full cooperation between the two countries.
However, the messages in Sandzak can also be viewed in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Serbia.