Russia expresses support for Bosnia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia says it supports the peace accords that ended Bosnia’s war in the 1990s and the country’s territorial integrity.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced his country’s support on Friday following a Bosnian Serb leader’s calls for secession of a Serb-run region from Bosnia.

Lavrov arrived in Bosnia two weeks before Bosnia’s national election, a visit described by local media as a show of support for Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.

However, Lavrov said he was not making a recommendation as to who to vote for.

Wider autonomy

Dodik, who is running for a Serb seat in Bosnia’s inter-ethnic presidency, is campaigning on a ticket of a wider autonomy of the Serb Republic that he currently presides over and its ultimate secession from Bosnia.

He hopes that Russia will support his separatist plans at the time when a land swap has been discussed between Serbia and Kosovo.
This means that borders at the Balkans may change again but this time with international blessing.

However, Lavrov, who is due to meet Dodik later, gave no public support for the separatist move.

Russia’s stance is there is no alternative to the Dayton peace agreement,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Sarajevo held with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak, referring to the US.-brokered peace deal that ended Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

We support Bosnia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the authorities granted by the constitution to its two entities and three constituent peoples,” he said.