International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

BiH Deputy Defence Minister-Cooperation with NATO – yes, NATO integration – no

August 30, 2023

Aleksandar Goganovic, Bosnia's deputy minister of defence, said following the meeting with NATO Assistant Secretary General Operations Thomas Goffus on Wednesday that they did not discuss NATO membership but only the cooperation with the alliance, adding that the position of Bosnia's Republika Srpska entity on this matter is clear – cooperation 'yes', integration 'no'.

“My personal stance, the stance of the SNSD (ruling political party in the Bosnian Serb entity), and the institutions of Republika Srpska is clear on this matter. Cooperation with NATO – yes, NATO integration – no, which was defined by the Programme of Reforms that the Presidency as the chief command adopted,” said Goganovic.

He noted that the meeting discussed the cooperation with NATO, security situation in BiH and the region.

Goganovic also emphasised that the peace and stability are an imperative for all, and Goganovic praised the cooperation between EUFOR (EU military deployment in BiH) and NATO on preserving the security in BiH-

Goffus said in the meeting with Goganovic and defence minister Zukan Helez that BiH will always enjoy support on its path towards democratic standards in the framework of collective system of security, to the benefit of all its citizens.

There is no consent on the NATO integration in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the Bosnian Serb leadership opposes it, aligning its stance on the NATO integration with the neighbouring Serbia and claiming to maintain military neutrality. Political representatives of other two major ethnic groups, the Bosniaks and the Croats, openly support the NATO integration of BiH.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/bih-deputy-defence-minister-cooperation-with-nato-yes-nato-integration-no/

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