The newly elected Government of Republika Srpska (RS), ten days after taking over the new four-year mandate, continues with the old policy. This policy is in contradiction with the long-standing foreign policy course of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), directed towards Euro-Atlantic integration.
Instead, in the past few days, RS agreed on cooperation with China and Russia and announced a Serbian-Russian forum in the spring of next year in Banja Luka.
Playing a conflicting foreign policy game
Milorad Dodik, the president of the RS, repeated his opposition to BiH joining NATO on November 24th in Belgrade.
On November 9th, the Council of Ministers of BiH unanimously adopted the proposals of the BiH Reform Programme for 2021 and 2022, two key documents that represent the political and legal framework of cooperation between BiH and the NATO alliance.
Analysts say that playing a double or conflicting foreign policy game ”shows the depth of the internal crisis in BiH, as well as the dilettantism of domestic politicians.”
How does foreign policy affect BiH’s reputation internationally?
Mladen Bubonjic, a political analyst and publicist from Banja Luka, points out that for the social progress of BiH, a minimum consensus is necessary, which does not exist in BiH.
Bubonjic says that BiH society, due to its foreign policy performance, can only look like ”immature children who don’t know what they want” in the international field, although the positions are clearly defined, ”either the eastern or western path”.
Political analyst Tanja Topic from Banja Luka has a similar opinion. She says that BiH has no reputation in the outside world and in international relations, where it is present only when there is a problem.
”We are very often in the spotlight of the international public because of our internal quarrels and rising tensions,” she says. She adds that different views on the relationship with Russia cause a lot of damage and problems to BiH.
Where is BiH on the NATO path?
Since 2006, BiH has been a member of the NATO Partnership for Peace, the political-military program of this alliance. Officially, BiH is the only country in the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP).
The invitation to the MAP was sent in 2010. After the general elections in 2018, BiH was invited to submit the Annual National Programme (ANP), which is prepared by every country that wants to become a member of the Alliance.
Due to opposition from RS, BiH sent the Reform Programme to NATO instead of ANP, Radio Slobodna Evropa writes.