MOSCOW, February 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Brussels’ stance on violent suppression of protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated the European Union’s policy of double standards, head of the international affairs committee at the Federation Council upper house of Russia's parliament Mikhail Margelov told reporters on Tuesday.
“Uprisings in Bosnia and Herzegovina are suppressed by violent actions of police using flashbangs, rubber bullets and water cannons against protesters,” he said. But as was clear from statements of EU functionaries commenting on unrest centerd on Tuzla compared with the uprising in Kiev, Brussels fully supported official action, he said.
“Following EU diplomacy logic, in countries aspiring for EU membership, mass riots should be strongly suppressed,” Margelov said. “By EU standards, those countries have good authorities whatever in reality they are. In Ukraine, where authorities have abandoned an association deal with the European Union, it is unnecessary to suppress riots as the authorities are to blame for everything while throwers of Molotov cocktails and fire bombs do the right things.”
Thus, he added, “police in Tuzla can and should use flashbangs, rubber bullets and water cannon against protesters, while in Kiev they cannot,” Margelov said. “The calls of Catherine Ashton (European Union foreign policy chief) to stop violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina are addressed not to the authorities and the police force, but to protesters while in Ukraine it is vice versa.”
Beginning from February 5, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been engulfed by the largest-ever riots since the middle of the 1990s.
These reflect difficult social conditions in a country where official data record unemployment at 27.5%. Unofficial statistics show a rate of no less than 44%. More than 300 people have been injured in Bosnia and Herzegovina since protests began.