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EU plans to cut aid to Bosnia’s Republika Srpska

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Foreign Minister Elmedin Konakovic said some EU officials planned to support a Muslim-Croat federation but excluded Republika Srpska due to its divisive politics, N1 reported on 14 September.

Bosnia is a union state of two equal republics: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska. It also includes the Brcko District, which belongs to both of them. Each of them has its own institutions and state-level bodies.

“Some officials in Europe are thinking about ways to support only the FBiH entity in the future, which is a controversial topic, but if the authorities in the RS continue on this path, I think they will force some serious officials on the European stage to do just this.”

Konakovic announced the imminent visit of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to the Western Balkans. There, the Commission will announce a large package of support for the region. However, Bosnia may be excluded because of the actions of the Republika Srpska.

“For example, it is unacceptable for [Republika Srpska’s President Milorad] Dodik to say – I do not recognise the [Bosnian constitutional] court’s decisions. This is where we run into a serious problem, we are in a pre-conflict situation.”

He also added that Dodik’s decisions could lead to the strengthening of EUFOR forces in the country.

The latest developments in Republika Srpska are something that worries European officials.

High Representative of the International Community Christian Schmidt said that if he and the foreign judges of the Constitutional Court left the country, Bosnia would face the risk of conflict and disintegration.

“Until Dayton [Peace Agreement] is fully implemented, the OHR and foreign judges must remain in the country. [In] the coming period, it will be a very awkward situation for Dodik because he is attacking Dayton. Let’s be calm and composed, I will not get involved in every stupid game and childishness. What should I say to Dodik? Maybe he understands. Do not underestimate the international community because you will have to answer for your behaviour.”

Schmidt noted that he had not yet applied his special Bonn powers to the extent of his predecessor Paddy Ashdown. In an interview with N1, he recalled the case of Dodik’s predecessor suspension by his predecessor. Schmidt also urged to remain calm and composed.

I did not get the impression that Dodik considered what he was doing and then it is simply not okay to say something stupid and then have a chance to look back on it. I wonder what he really wants.

In September, Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik claimed he would issue a decree ordering the arrest of Schmidt if he entered Republika’s territory. The President refuses to recognise Schmidt’s authority, stating he was improperly appointed. The international community has repeatedly condemned his statement.


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