After being in the region for three days, the media in Croatia clearly marked the main message of the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. “Jutarnji list” in the article, “Lavrov from Zagreb told NATO:” Don’t touch the Republic of Srpska! “, which is also on the front page of this newspaper, states that Lavrov in Zagreb pointed out that BiH’s consent requires the consent of Srpska, stressed the need for high the representative left BiH and supported the reform of the Election Law.
With the visit to Zagreb, the first after a full 16 years and six days, as specified by the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gordan Grlić-Radman, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov ended a very tumultuous tour of the region, in which he visited Republic of Srpska, BiH, Serbia, and Croatia.
Lavrov used his stay in Zagreb to send clear messages about Russia’s view of the situation in BiH and Kosovo and said that Russia’s Balkan engagement would be diametrically opposed to the announcement of a change in US policy towards this area after the enthronement of Joe Baiden. Lavrov’s arrival will be remembered for the scandal in Sarajevo, when, as they said, BiH institutions, two members of the Presidency, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, refused to meet with Putin’s representative, so the meeting in Zagreb had the “BiH seal”, “Jutarnji list” writes.
Sergey Lavrov thus gave his support to the reform of the Election Law in BiH, which has been “burning” Croatia and HDZ BiH since the last elections and the victory of Željko Komšić, mostly with Bosniak votes. It can be said that Lavrov came to Zagreb and “investigated” how much Croatia, and Croats in BiH, will support (and in what way) possible Dayton changes, which are announced from circles close to the US administration of Joe Biden. Russia explicitly opposes this, so Lavrov’s support for changes to the Election Law can be interpreted as a concession to Zagreb, contrary to Dayton 2.
“Same goals in BiH”
– We also talked about the situation in the Western Balkans, primarily about the situation in BiH. We have the same goals, first of all, respect for the Dayton Agreement – Lavrov said.
He also said that “every nation must elect its representatives, especially when it comes to a member of the Presidency,” Lavrov said, supporting the constitutivity of the three nations and the inviolability of the two entities. He reiterated that the current Dayton must not and must not change.
As one participant in the conversation told “Jutarnji”, Lavrov confirmed the importance of the equality of the three constituent peoples and that, as the interlocutor says, we are “here on the same frequency”, according to the interlocutor who was involved in the visit of the Russian minister.
– We simply read and underline the key sentences of the Dayton Agreement in the same way. The Russians insist on the formula of one state, two entities, and three constituent peoples, says the source of the “Jutarnji list”.
However, Lavrov demanded in Zagreb that the institute of the High International Representative be abolished, which according to him is actually an anachronism and a mechanism of the Western protectorate over BiH.
It is interesting that Lavrov, when asked about BiH’s membership in NATO, first said that Russia has no custom of banning anyone and that BiH is a sovereign state that chooses its own strategic priorities, but he immediately noted that “Republic of Srpska’s decision on military neutrality should be respected.” BiH’s path to the North Atlantic Alliance is practically impossible. (Sarajevo was immediately ordered that such matters could not be decided by the entities, but only by the joint institutions of BiH).