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Russia opposes external interference in Bosnia's affairs — envoy to UN

Vasily Nebenzya noted that only the Dayton Agreement can be the "starting and ending point" for resolving the situation in the country

UNITED NATIONS, May 15. /TASS/. Russia firmly opposes any external interference in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the West's actions in this regard are unacceptable, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya has said.

"We strongly oppose the blatant interference of external forces in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said during the Security Council meeting on the country’s issues. "The Western community is abusing its diplomatic presence in Sarajevo, as well as multilateral structures like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe to impose its own selfish agenda on the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is unacceptable and contrary to the UN Charter," he added.

The Russian envoy noted that only the Dayton Agreement can be the "starting and ending point" for resolving the situation in the country. "The peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina can independently make decisions regarding their multi-ethnic country only on the basis of this consensus system, which put an end to the bloody civil war," Nebenzya said.

According to the constitution proposed in the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton Agreement), the country consists of two entities: the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (about 51% of the territory) and Republika Srpska (about 49% of the territory), as well as the Brcko District. Three main peoples are proportionally represented in the government: Bosniaks (Slavs who converted to Islam), Serbs (Orthodox), and Croats (Catholics).

The country is de facto governed by a high representative of the international community (a post created under the Dayton Agreement), who is appointed by the steering committee of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Peace Implementation Council after approval by the UN Security Council. However, in May 2021, the ambassadors of the steering committee countries decided to appoint Christian Schmidt as the new high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina without getting UNSC approval. The Republika Srpska leadership does not recognize Schmidt’s legitimacy.