- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 12 April 2022 18:02
April 12, 2022
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in Sarajevo on Tuesday that Russia's threats over Sweden and Finland's possible NATO accession were unacceptable, asking Bosnia and Herzegovina to follow the EU's policy with regard to the Ukraine war. She also called on the Bosnian Serb officials to stop blocking the central state institutions.
It is entirely unacceptable for Russia to threaten Sweden or Finland in any way because it is up to its citizens to decide about their security policy. There is the time before and the time after 24 February, and Sweden and Finland will make decisions about their policy on their own, Linde said during an official visit to Sarajevo, where she met with Bosnian officials.
Commenting on threats against her country coming from Moscow, including a statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Linde said that the security situation in Europe had changed dramatically after Russia's aggression on Ukraine caused large-scale destruction and suffering of people, making millions flee the country.
This has prompted the Swedish and Finnish governments to review their long-lasting policy of military neutrality and consider the possibility of joining NATO.
Russia's attack on Ukraine is unprovoked and illegal and cannot be justified, which is why Sweden stands with Ukraine together with the EU, Linde said, adding that the whole world should be united in opposition to the Russian aggression.
She called on BiH to align its policy towards Ukraine and Russia with the EU's policy and more actively join in the fight against disinformation.
The Swedish minister said that in light of the worsened security situation in Europe, BiH politicians should act more responsibly, and she particularly called on Bosnian Serb officials to stop blocking central state institutions.
She said her country was ready to follow the EU's sanctions policy towards Bosnian politicians who undermine the country's stability and sovereignty.
Linde expressed regret at the failure of local politicians to agree on a new election law but was explicit that it was of crucial importance for elections to be held in the autumn according to the existing law, for which the authorities are expected to secure funds from the state budget.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said her country had clearly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and expected it to be stopped as soon as possible.
As for disputes regarding funds for the organisation of elections, Turkovic said there were indications that this year's state budget could be adopted by 25 April, which would help solve that problem.
She also said that High Representative for BiH Christian Schmidt could soon exercise his powers and annul a law whereby the Serb entity of Republika Srpska (RS) had taken over management of the property owned by BiH.
Turkovic added that she believed sanctions would continue to be imposed on politicians undermining BiH's stability and violating the Dayton peace agreement, a comment on Great Britain having introduced sanctions against the Serb member of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, and RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic on Monday.
Linde previously attended a meeting hosted by Head of the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina Johann Sattler, which was attended by UK Ambassador Matt Field, UK Ambassador Michael Murphy, HR Schmidt, and Sweden's ambassador in Sarajevo Johanna Stromquist.