On Tuesday morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met again only with Serb member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik, while two other members, Šefik Džaferović (a Bosniak) and Željko Komšić (a Croat), refused to attend the meeting.
The reason for the refusal is the fact that Lavrov met with Dodik and the leader of the Croatian Democratic Union, Dragan Čović, last night in East Sarajevo, in the Republika Srpska, and he did not come to the BiH capital first. What particularly bothered the two members of the Presidency was that at the meeting with Dodik, there was no state flag but only an entity flag, although Dodik is currently the Chairman of the Presidency.
“It is clear to everyone that Lavrov is, if not the first or the second, the third most important man (in Russia), and his every move sends a message. What we have had the opportunity to watch since he came to BiH are the messages, not of his personal, but of the Russian Federation. The non-existence of the BiH flag is not a problem of the protocol, but his, we understand that as a humiliation of the country he came to. Lavrov’s statement that he welcomes the RS National Assembly Resolution, which speaks of military neutrality of this entity, also says that the Russian Foreign Minister is perfectly informed, experienced, avoids the fact that such a decision can only be made by BiH state bodies and that BiH has made a decision on the Euro-Atlantic future”, said Komšić at a press conference.
He pointed out that on these two examples, Lavrov showed disrespect for the institutions, the constitutional system and the state of BiH.
“I am just sorry that this happened. Our commitment is to have the best relations with the Russian Federation, but I also demand that the institutions of BiH be respected. To make matters worse, Lavrov’s position was published on social networks, which on the one hand is a threat, and on the other it is something on which we cannot build our relations with the Russian Federation, but we can ask people who claim to be our friends to respect BiH and the decisions of BiH institutions”, Komšić pointed out.
Džaferović has said that “we want to preserve the dignity and pride of our homeland BiH in this way”.
“The Russian Federation is a great state, a world power. BiH is not a world power, but it is a very important country in the world. We have our pride and we want to say what we think at the moment. Russia respects the Dayton Peace Agreement, but the statements made at a press conference yesterday by Minister Lavrov tell us something different”, Džaferović said.
He said that respecting the Dayton Peace Agreement means respecting all its annexes.
“The first thing stated in the agreement is the state of BiH, its continuity, institutions, its flag and coat of arms. That must be respected, it was not respected yesterday. Respecting the Dayton Agreement means respecting all 11 annexes. The OHR’s departure from BiH is advocated by forces that constantly talk about secession.
The idea was to go to a meeting and say all this, or not to go to a meeting. In the end, we assessed that this procedure is a stronger message. This is a message to our friends from Europe, to our partners, that we are proud and determined people. Once we make a decision in this country, we must abide by it”, Džaferović stressed./ibna