Lavrov: Representatives of Bosniaks and Croats working on Someone’s Orders

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Belgrade that representatives of Bosniaks and Croats in Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who refused to meet with him, were not independent and were obviously working on someone’s orders, but that the incident was not essential for developing Russia’s relations with BiH.

“The politicians who made that decision probably express the interests not of the majority of their voters but of external forces, which are not only not interested in the development of Russian-Bosnian and Russian-Serbian relations, but also in the countries of the Western Balkans realizing the right to mutually beneficial cooperation with external partners, “Lavrov said at a joint news conference after meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Lavrov said that a few years ago, when he visited the Balkans, including BiH, the then head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, said that the region was a “zone of interest for the EU” and that everyone else, including Russia, “had nothing to look for.”

“It is a philosophy that is deeply rooted in several European countries since colonial times. We can do nothing about it, but it is necessary to oppose this unacceptable approach,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Lavrov said that Russia is committed to the basic principles of the Dayton Agreement, “above all as far as equality is concerned” of the three constituent peoples and the two entities of BiH.

BiH Presidency members Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic refused to meet with Lavrov in Sarajevo yestarday. Komsic said that he and Dzaferovic made such a decision because Lavrov “showed disrespect for the institutions, the constitutional system and the state of BiH.”

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