Bosnia’s path to NATO membership is complicated by neighboring Serbia’s unclear attitude towards the alliance, a conference held on March 25 in Sarajevo by the Atlantic Initiative heard.
The head of the Atlantic Initiative, Nerzuk Curak, said that considering the security issues raised by the Ukrainian crisis, the issue of NATO membership has emerged as a key foreign political question.
But Bosnia’s membership depends “first of all on whether NATO wants to receive a country in which the process of making decisions is highly questionable and, on the other side, we are limited by Serbia’s behavior”, Curak said.
Curak noted that while Serbia wished to join the European Union as soon as possible, it was far from clear whether it wished to join NATO.
“If Serbia does not decide to join the NATO then the odds for Bosnia and Herzegovina in that sense are lowered,” he said, adding that his belief is based on the fact that Republika Srpska will follow Serbia’s path.
Numerous citizens in Serbia remain opposed to the alliance due to NATO’s attack on Serbia in 1999.
While experts say Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to wait for Serbia to make up its mind, other former Yugoslav republics have not hesitated in joining NATO.