Russia undermines efforts to achieve peace and stability in Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently facing several challenging circumstances, including forming a new government following the general elections in October 2022 and the escalating war in Ukraine.

Current situation

The Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), Croatian Democratic Union BiH (HDZBiH), and the so-called “Trojka” parties formed the government in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Social-Democratic Party – SDP, People and Justice -NiP and Our Party -NS). Because of the blockades by the HDZBiH, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina government has still not been created based on the election results from 2018. The enactment of amendments to the Federation of BiH’s Constitution and the imposition of specific provisions of the Election Law by High Representative Christian Schmidt (CSU/EPP) on election night are directly related to the Federation of BiH, have further complicated and complicated the relations in BiH.

Putinists grab control of institutions in BiH, undermining the tenuous peace

Even though Milorad Dodik had been awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Office of the High Representative (OHR), the EU, and member nations of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) installed him in office at the entity and national levels during the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Even worse, they granted the wishes of the two Putinists Milorad Dodik (SNSD) and Dragan Čović (HDZBiH) by appointing party members without appointing candidates of the purportedly pro-Bosnian parties. Edward P. Joseph, a former senior deputy head of mission for the OSCE in Kosovo, testified before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament that since Paddy Ashdown left, Milorad Dodik had continued to operate without authorization, so it was only natural that Dragan Čović and their collusion would follow.

Dodik PMC

All private security companies are now under Dodik’s command.

They are “Wagner” in Dodik’s version. He also hired over 50 highly skilled IT professionals and put them at Elektroprivreda RS. These individuals serve as business employees and engage in propaganda campaigns on social media on their behalf and on behalf of the Russian intelligence agencies. He maintains an eye on and monitors the opposition, free press, and society, as well as the communication of representatives of the international community in BiH through the M:TEL telecom operator. The authorities in the RS also influence the supporters’ organizations, which they employ to intimidate, threaten, and exert pressure on those who disagree with the regime, including members of civil society and the opposition.

Experts contend that it is imperative to uncover Dodik’s actual orientation towards Putin and Russia, as well as the dangers resulting from it, in all its fullness. The issue of the RS seceding from BiH is more relevant than ever. Together with Russia, about 30 other nations have indicated their willingness to recognize RS as an independent state.

Western countries underestimate the severity of situation

Western nations are making the same error they did in the 1990s, when they thought the problem in BiH could be solved by giving in and adopting the policies of Slobodan Milošević, Franjo Tuman, Radovan Karadi, and Mate Boban. Similar to how it did in the 1990s of the previous century, the Western public is currently vehemently opposing the decisions of their authorities, starting with the European Parliament and moving on to national parliaments and governments, through petitions as well as responses from international intellectuals and nongovernmental organizations that work to protect and affirm human rights and freedoms.

According to analysts, the West’s assistance in Dodik and Čović ‘s systemic constitutional-legal obstruction of BiH threatens the country’s precarious peace. Although the Russian invasion of Ukraine directly threatens violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans, some EU and NATO members continue to pose the biggest threats to BiH. The institutional grip that Putinians now have over BiH institutions is essentially a “success” of western nations.

Image: The President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik [R] and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Kalabuhov [L]; Source: predsjednikrs.net

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