Russia Sees Discrimination Against Bosnian Croats

Russia sees the “evident discrimination against ethnic Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina” and insists on honoring the Dayton peace agreement and implementing an electoral reform, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Moscow on Monday (17.01).

“We, too, see the evident discrimination against Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats, about which the Croatian minister talked about”, he said at a press conference after a bilateral meeting with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic-Radman.

Lavrov underlined the need to implement an electoral reform to end the discrimination in line with the Dayton agreement.

“I can confirm that we, too, like our Croatian colleagues, stand for strict compliance with the Dayton agreement”, he said, adding that there are plans to turn BiH, a state of two entities and three constituent peoples, into a unitary state, which “also demonizes Republika Srpska”, BiH’s Serb entity. Lavrov called the US approach to the Western Balkan colorful because it appointed a special envoy for the electoral reform, while at the same time calling for not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.

Lavrov said all issues, including the electoral reform, should be dealt with within BiH. Grlić Radman said Russia was “traditionally well-versed in the Western Balkans”, thanking Lavrov for exchanging views on the need to honor the Dayton agreement. He said that during their meeting, Lavrov agreed to the need for Croats to have legitimate representation in BiH’s “collective bodies, the Presidency and the House of Peoples.”

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