NATO foreign ministers approved on Wednesday the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Bosnia and Herzegovina, a step forward in the country’s relationship with the alliance, it was confirmed at the ministerial meeting in Brussels.
The ministers were set to discuss among other topics the situation in the Western Balkans at their two-day meeting, including the next steps in developing NATO’s relationship with Bosnia, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in a press conference earlier this week.
“I expect the ministers to endorse NATO’s readiness to accept Bosnia’s first national programme,” he said, adding it will be up to Bosnia’s authorities whether they will seize the opportunity.
NATO agreed to launch the MAP for Bosnia in April 2010 and the country has been struggling to meet the necessary criteria, foremost to carry out the registration of military property, in order to get the green light for launching its first annual national programme, final step towards the MAP activation.
The MAP is a specially tailored programme that stipulates advising, assistance and practical support adjusted to the individual needs of the countries aspiring to join the alliance.
DODIK: I FOLLOW SRPSKA PARLIAMENT’S RESOLUTION ON MILITARY NEUTRALITY
BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik has stated he will strictly follow the Republika Srpska National Assembly’s resolution on military neutrality and will not support anything related to NATO.
“I will adhere to the Republika Srpska National Assembly’s resolution on military neutrality and everything beyond that representing any inclusion in any military alliance, whether NATO or any other, will not be supported by me,” Dodik told reporters this evening in the HQ of Republika Srpska in Istocno Sarajevo.
He has recalled that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that it is up to BiH to decide whether to join the Alliance, therefore all the theories about this topic by now were speculations.
Unfortunately, Dodik stresses, all the international community’s policies in the past years in BiH, including NATO one, have been based on the system “it is ok, if passed.”
He has stated that in the context of the then international circumstances and strategic positions, Republika Srpska considered a decade ago that there was reason to talk about accession, “even when the MAP was given in Tallinn and the condition for it was the registration of military property”, but today the geopolitical situation is completely changed.
“At that time, we believed that we should talk about these alliances, and the great powers did the same, including Russia,” Dodik has said.
He has stressed that the current position of Republika Srpska’s institutions on possible BiH’s accession into NATO is clear, as it is linked to the NATO bombing of the Serbs, on two occasions in Republika Srpska and Serbia.
“We have a full political consensus reached by all parties in Republika Srpska that are still in force. The political parties in Republika Srpska have taken a position on military neutrality. It is the position of the National Assembly and my policy, too. There is no other policy than the policy of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska and, of course, the ruling structures in Republika Srpska,” Dodik has said.
He has reiterated that as a member of the BiH Presidency from Republika Srpska and the Chairman of the BiH Presidency, he is solely obligated by the resolution of the Republika Srpska National Assembly.