Lavrov Warns West against Trying to Break Down Dayton Accords

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has wared Western nations against trying to break down the architecture of the Dayton Accords as it is fraught with serious consequences, TASS reported.

“I would like to warn seriously some of our partners against trying to break down the Dayton architecture. We observe such attempts. Such attempts, whatever their motives might be, are fraught with the most serious consequences,” he said after talks with Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik on Monday.

The Russian minister recalled that he had taken part in the talks on the Dayton Accords. “I know how fragile the balance than has been reached is and how important each brick of this fundamental achievement of the international community is. With even one component removed from this package, all the agreements will be at risk and the consequences will be unpredictable,” Lavrov stressed.

Russia fully supports the Dayton Accords on peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and calls for their unconditional observance by all the parties, Russian Foreign Minister said.

The recalled that today is 25th anniversary of this document. “Russia, as a guarantor state of the peace agreement, fully supports the basic Dayton principles concerning Bosnia-Herzegovina’s internal structure and calls for their unswerving observance by all the parties, both Bosnian and external,” he said.

The Russian top diplomat stressed that under these principles all problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina must be settled solely through mutually respectful dialogue, through the search for a balance of interests, compromises and consensus, with strict observance of the principles of non-interference into Bosnian affairs from outside.

Lavrov said that he had spoken about this document with Dodik. “We share the opinion that the Dayton Agreement is the basis for Bosnia-Herzegovina’s existence as a state and the constitutional principle of equality of the three state-constituting nations and the two entities has no alternatives,” he stressed.

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s European integration

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s European integration is possible only in keeping with the Dayton principles, Lavrov said.

“The Dayton Accords in no way hamper possible development of relations between this state and its foreign partners, including with European integration structures,” he said. “A decision on the pace of the movement towards European integration is to rest on the strict observance of the Dayton principles. We will fully respect any decisions that would be taken on this basis.”

The Russian minister also noted that Russia respects Republika Srpska’s decision to keep military political neutrality. “We are convinced that this is a responsible position stemming from the understanding of the seriousness of the current situation in Europe, understanding of the necessity to avoid further aggravation of confrontation, with the division lines NATO members keep on deepening being moved further eastwards,” Lavrov said.

The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement or the Dayton Accords, is the peace agreement that put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992-1995. The deal was agreed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, United States, on November 21, 1995 and formally signed in Paris on December 14, 1995 by Bosnian leader Alija Izetbegovic, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The agreement has 11 annexes, with most important of them being about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s territorial and power structures, the implementation of the peace settlement, including military aspects of the interethnic conflict settlement.

Geopolitical interests

Russian Foreign Minister has warned against dragging Balkan countries into serving others’ geopolitical interests and called for helping them resolve their problems themselves.

Lavrov said after Monday’s meeting with Dodik that they had exchanged views on current aspects of the situation in other parts of the Balkan region. “We share the opinion that peace and stability here can ben ensured only through political dialogue, respect to national interests on the basis of international law and corresponding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” he said.

“It is principally important to help the countries of this region settle their problems via national dialogue and avoid attempts to drag any of these countries into serving somebody else’s unilateral geopolitical interests,” he stressed.

Anti-coronavirus vaccines

Russian Foreign Minister also said on Monday topics of his talks with Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina included issues of the development and use of the anti-coronavirus vaccines.

“We noted today that at the early stage of the coronavirus pandemic the Russian side offered assistance to the Republika Srpska and expressed readiness to help other Bosnia-Herzegovina’s structure,” he told a news conference after the talks. “Today we discussed prospects for cooperation on the issues of the development and use of anti-coronavirus vaccines.”