International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Transparency Serbia warns of campaigning by state officials

March 14, 2022
Transparency Serbia warned on Monday that the ruling coalition is waging a campaign by state officials with President Aleksandar Vucic and his party’s candidates dominating the media more than in earlier campaigns.
Transparency Serbia spokesman Zlatko Minic told a news conference that recently adopted laws did nothing to change the behavior of state officials. He said that 58 percent more campaign activities by state officials was recorded than earlier, adding that the 10 most active state officials have doubled their activities such as deputy Belgrade Mayor Goran Vesic.
Minic said that Vucic is combining his activities as a state official with party campaigning by appearing at official events in places where he later holds party gatherings.
Transparency Serbia Program Director Nemanja Nenadic said the new regulations obliging the president to state clearly if he is appearing as a state or party official had no effect. “Vucic is named as state president and Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) leader on his Twitter account which means his roles are mixed up,” he said.
Nenadic said that some 15.7 million Euro have been earmarked in the state budget for election campaigns and added that less than 10 percent has been spent to date. “Only the SNS did any significant campaigning, spending at least 600,000 Euro on TV and social media advertising,” he said.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/transparency-serbia-warns-of-campaigning-by-state-officials/

Serbian PM, former president in heated exchange on pro-regime TV

March 14, 2022
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and former President Boris Tadic traded accusations of incompetence and wrongdoing in a live talk show on the pro-regime TV Pink on Sunday night.
Brnabic and Tadic appeared with Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic on the Hit Tvit show which is aired in the same slot as the popular Impression of the Week talk show on the independent Nova TV. The heated exchange began when Tadic refused to stick to what the anchor said were pre-agreed issues and raised issues potentially embarrassing to the authorities including his one-time coalition partner Dacic who was prime minister during his presidency.
Tadic disputed a number of claims made by Brnabic, including the claim that living standards are better now than when he was in power and her claim that opposition presidential candidate retired General Zdravko Ponos said that he wants Serbia to join NATO. Brnabic tried to back up her claims with what she said were printouts of Wikileaks documents. Tadic picked up one of the papers and folded it into a paper airplane which he let fly across the studio.
The exchange span out of the anchor’s control at several points, forcing her to call for advertising to block out their mutual accusations.
Tadic disputed Brnabic’s allegations several times, saying that she got dates mixed up and that she was accusing him of wrongdoing in years when he was not president. Dacic spoke up when Tadic said that some of the things that Brnabic accused him of happened while Dacic was prime minister.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbian-pm-former-president-in-heated-exchange-on-pro-regime-tv/

Croatia reports 956 new coronavirus cases, 15 deaths

March 13, 2022
Croatia has recorded 956 new coronavirus cases and 15 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team reported on Sunday.
The number of active cases currently stands at 9,830. Among them are 764 infected people who have been hospitalised and 49 of them of them are on ventilators, while 7,198 people are self-isolating.
A total of 4,583,892 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to date, including 4,356 in the last 24 hours.
Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 1,073,386 people have been registered as having been infected with the novel virus, of whom 15,336 have died and 1,048,220 have recovered, including 1,226 in the last 24 hours.
By Saturday, 5,209,274 COVID vaccine doses have been administered, with 56.89 per cent of the total population, or 67.66 per cent of adults, having been vaccinated. A total of 2,308,528 people have received at least one dose and 2,234,390 of them have been fully vaccinated, which is 65.61 per cent of the adult population.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/croatia-reports-956-new-coronavirus-cases-15-deaths/

Serbia’s coronavirus update: 17 deaths, 1,366 new cases

March 13, 2022
The Serbian Health Ministry said in its daily 3:00 pm bulletin on Friday that 17 COVID-19 patients passed away throughout the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 15,587.
It said that 8,085 people had been tested over the previous 24 hours.
The total number of people tested to date stands at 8,924,005 with 1,940,516 confirmed cases.
The bulletin said that there are 1,179 hospitalised cases, including 67 patients on ventilators.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbias-coronavirus-update-17-deaths-1366-new-cases/

Professor: BiH authorities are not taking Russian threats seriously

March 13, 2022
Russia has clearly threatened that the situation in Ukraine could spill over to Bosnia and Herzegovina if the country moves closer toward NATO membership, but BiH authorities do not seem to be taking this threat seriously, former Sarajevo mayor and professor, Ivo Komsic, said on Sunday.
Speaking at the session of the Circle 99 (Krug 99) association of intellectuals, Komsic stressed that BiH could be in danger and that the current situation and possible consequences for the state are not being taken seriously. He noted that other countries, for example neighbouring Serbia, have started the accumulation of commodity reserves and raised their combat readiness, while BiH has done nothing of the sort.
“It is very clear what Putin is saying. It is important for us to assess the situation, whether the Ukrainian scenario in BiH is possible. Well, he said it was possible. That's what Putin said,” he stressed.
“He also said that when he attacked Ukraine. Nobody believed it. But he did it,” he said, pointing out that Russia said BiH is also “below the red line that cannot be crossed.”
“He put her in his zone of influence,” Komsic added.
The professor argued that Putin wants to have BiH under his influence as well as Ukraine, noting that Russia has warned that it would have to take action if BiH made further steps toward NATO membership.
BiH is, according to Komsic, apparently “blind” when it comes to these messages or intentionally ignores them, he said, adding that “this is a serious and real threat.”
Komsic argued that the statements of the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, as well as those of Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, should be closely followed in light of this.
“I don't know if there is any institution in our country that deals with this seriously. Someone who would assess this and make it available to state bodies, whose function is to protect this state. I don't know if there is such an institution, but if there is, then it should not be kept a secret,” he said.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/professor-bih-authorities-are-not-taking-russian-threats-seriously/

Dzaferovic and Dodik present opposing views on NATO at Antalya Diplomatic Forum

March 12, 2022
Speaking at the Diplomatic Forum in Antalya, Turkey, the Bosniak and Bosnian Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency expressed completely different views on the country’s future in terms of potential NATO membership.
Milorad Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity, stressed in his speech that it is not possible to compare the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina with those in Ukraine.
“I do not agree that Bosnia and Herzegovina has anything to do with Ukraine and the events there. The nature of the conflict is not the same. I think that the conflict in Ukraine is the result of a global balance of power and strength and that Ukraine is collateral damage. Bosnia and Herzegovina had its internal problems, it had a civil war, a conflict between national groups, and that disqualifies any possible comparison,” he said.
The Bosnian Serb Presidency member said that BiH is “an unfinished country” and that the international community has been present there for far too long in order to try to “impose their vision of Bosnia and Herzegovina” which prevents the country from responding to challenges.
“For that reason, Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot stand on its own feet, because it has never been left to itself in peace,” he said.
He also rejected the idea of a conflict breaking out in BiH.
“This story of a war was provoked from inside and outside to draw attention to BiH in order to put pressure on new political solutions,” he said.
Dodik also reiterated his refusal to accept the authority of the High Representative of the international community in BiH, Christian Schmidt, who is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
“There is no High Representative for us because he was not appointed by the UN Security Council. It has nothing to do with Schmidt personally. Also, for us, NATO is an unacceptable organisation in terms of our membership inside,” said Dodik.
Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic, on the other hand, spoke about the obligations of NATO in preserving peace in BiH.
“NATO has stopped the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and NATO has helped to establish peace, and according to the Dayton Peace Agreement, NATO has an obligation to protect peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most important thing at this moment is that all of us within Bosnia and Herzegovina respect the Dayton Peace Agreement and that we respect 27 years of implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. All the laws we have passed in Bosnia and Herzegovina are laws that have been passed by consensus of all of us with the help of our friends from the international community,” the Bosniak Presidency member said.
As for the war that took place in BiH, Dzaferovic opposed Dodik’s statement that this was purely a civil war.
“The most important thing is to respect what we have today, which means that we cannot say, as Dodik has just said, that there was a civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that it was a conflict of the people because that is not the case. These things were determined completely differently by international documents. It was clearly stated that it was an international conflict with the aim of dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
Dzaferovic said that BiH’s top priorities are EU and NATO membership, stressing that this is confirmed in documents that BiH signed off on in the past.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina should do everything in its power to gain candidate status, start negotiations and become an EU member as soon as possible. Also, the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is something that has left the whole world surprised. After the 1990s, in the former Yugoslavia, in Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular, after the genocide, we said never again, and here it is happening. Of course, that united the West. Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of the West,” he said.
Dodik said that BiH’s RS entity, as well as neighbouring Serbia, will not join NATO.
“Republika Srpska and Serbia will not join NATO and that decision will not happen. NATO does not need such a BiH, completely unorganised, at all. As far as membership in the European Union is concerned, that is our goal, but the EU has more and more problems within itself. That membership is important and we would like it to be accelerated,” he said.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dzaferovic-and-dodik-present-opposing-views-on-nato-at-antalya-diplomatic-forum/

Ukrainian rep says drone that crashed in Zagreb isn’t Ukrainian

March 12, 2022
The drone that crashed in Zagreb is not Ukrainian, the Defence Minister's adviser Markiyan Lubkivsky said on Friday, according to the Interfax-Ukraine media outlet.
“The drone that crashed in the capital of Croatia does not belong to Ukraine,” Lubkivsky was quoted as saying.
“This drone did not have Ukrainian markings, it had red stars on it. This is not a Ukrainian drone,” Lubkivsky said on the air during a national telethon today.
He said that an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed in Zagreb at night and that the Croatian special services are currently studying this incident in cooperation with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We turned to our Croatian partners with a request to quickly and effectively investigate this incident in order to understand what kind of drone it is, who its manufacturer is and why it appeared in Zagreb,” said Lubkivsky, a former Ukrainian ambassador to Croatia.
The Hungarian air defence detected and tracked the drone that crossed its airspace on Thursday night before it crashed in Zagreb, the Hungarian Defence Ministry said today.
The air defence service of the Hungarian Armed Forces detected a flying object on its radars on Thursday night, the ministry said in a statement carried by the Hungarian MTI news agency.
The object was later identified as a TU-141 drone which has recently been used as a training target, the ministry said, adding that both the Ukrainian and Russian militaries had used such drones.
The drone had already been detected in Ukraine’s airspace, the Hungarian ministry said. Once it entered the Hungarian airspace, it was tracked by the air defence service until it exited the airspace, they added.
The TU-141 is a Soviet-era reconnaissance drone.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/ukrainian-rep-says-drone-that-crashed-in-zagreb-isnt-ukrainian/

Izetbegovic: There is reason for fear but people in Bosnia do not want war

March 11, 2022
There is a reason for fear, I just think that the peoples of the Balkans, especially the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, do not want war, the leader of the strongest Bosniak party in BiH – Democratic Action Party (SDA), Bakir Izetbegovic, said in an interview with Anadolu news agency.
He believes that the war in Ukraine is already reflecting on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It’s already reflecting because it has awakened some emotions and intentions, intentions that seemed to have been overcome. There are emotional and religious ties between certain peoples in the Balkans and Russia so this is not to be underestimated. We have already seen the reactions of that irresponsible part of society, radicals in stadiums, squares in Serbia and the Republika Srpska entity. Responsible politicians should prevent that,” Izetbegovic said.
He believes that “there is a consensus among everyone in Bosnia and Herzegovina that, regardless of their political misunderstandings and differences of opinion, they must, above all, preserve peace.”
the SDA leader believes that what we have seen in Ukraine is worrying for two or three reasons.
“It's not just a brutal war that is destroying cities, killing and changing the destinies of millions of people, the way it all started is also worrying. Because the president of a superpower like Russia should not say that he will not do something he plans to do. And then he does it. Now we don’t know what to expect from the president of such a superpower, in the future,” Izetbegovic noted.
He added hopes that Europe will be strongly connected after this crisis.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/izetbegovic-there-is-reason-for-fear-but-people-in-bosnia-do-not-want-war/

Officials agree to continue close cooperation between Bosnia and Serbia

March 11, 2022
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Josip Brkic led the delegation of the BiH Foreign Ministry at the bilateral political consultations with their Serbian counterparts on Thursday in Belgrade where they discussed bilateral relations, European and Euro-Atlantic integration and regional cooperation.
The delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia was led by State Secretary Nemanja Starovic.
Deputy Minister Brkic and State Secretary of Serbia Starovic agreed that good bilateral relations between BiH and Serbia are of primary importance not only for both countries but for the entire region. Therefore, BiH and Serbia want to have good and constructive cooperation in joint efforts to overcome all barriers that stand in the way of their good relations, it was concluded.
During the consultations, experiences and information related to the European path of BiH and Serbia were exchanged, and possibilities for strengthening cooperation in the field of European integration were also discussed. The current security, energy and economic situation in the region were also talked about at the meeting, with an emphasis on the challenges facing the countries of the region in the light of events in Eastern Europe.
Both sides expressed their readiness to continue the high-level dialogue after the extraordinary parliamentary and local elections in Serbia, scheduled for April 3 this year, and after the formation of the new government, especially in the area of cooperation between the two foreign ministries. They also mentioned the possibility of holding the second session of the Council of Ministers of BiH and the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
It was agreed that the next consultations will be held in Sarajevo by the end of the year.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/officials-agree-to-continue-close-cooperation-between-bosnia-and-serbia/

Germany's FM: High Rep plays a decisive role in maintaining peace in BiH

March 10, 2022
The High Representative of the international community plays a “decisive role” in maintaining peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina which is now “under attack,” German Foreign Affairs Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said in Sarajevo on Thursday.
“This is the right time for me to visit the countries of the Western Balkans,” Baerbock said.
The German Foreign Minister said that High Representative Christian Schmidt, who is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, plays a “decisive role” in the country’s path toward EU membership, as well as in preserving peace in BiH.
“What is happening here is that we see that peace is under attack again,” she said, adding that the Office of the High Representative (OHR) has the obligation to promote peace in the Balkans to ensure a safe future for the youth.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it does not accept the authority of Schmidt or the OHR in BiH.
“Mr. Schmidt and the international community believe that fair and honest elections must be held here and that everyone must be able to take part in them. This region is the region we want in Europe,” she concluded.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/germanys-fm-high-rep-plays-a-decisive-role-in-maintaining-peace-in-bih/

Schmidt says BiH borders are non-negotiable, after meeting with Baerbock

March 10, 2022
After receiving support from the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the international community’s High Representative in BiH Christian Schmidt said Thursday that Baerbock’s visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina is evidence that the international community is keeping a close eye on this country.
Speaking about the situation in the country, Schmidt said:
“BiH's borders are non-negotiable. Everyone in this country can live where they want and how they want. In our discussion, we were united that the EU integration can be the only way to the future for BiH,” Schmidt said after the meeting.
He noted that BiH needs a safe environment and that the role of Germany in that context is progressive. He thanked on behalf of the international community for Germany’s support for the integrity of BiH.
“One should stand on the side of those who are against corruption, and stand against those who want to see this country as dysfunctional and divided,” the High Representative said.
“Madam Minister, the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina is located nearby and decisions for this country should be made there. However, too few decisions are being made, and too few have so far been made. “The Dayton institutions and EUFOR-ALTEA will contribute to this country,” Schmidt said after the meeting.
The human rights violations that have taken place here must not be repeated, the High Representative said, adding that “BiH's borders are non-negotiable.”
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/schmidt-says-bih-borders-are-non-negotiable-after-meeting-with-baerbock/

International Republican Institute: Hate crimes still endanger unity in BiH

March 10, 2022
The recent actions of the Serb member of BiH’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, “correspond to a recent uptick in hate crime and hate speech across the country, which threaten to spark wider waves of violence,” the International Republican Institute (IRI) said.
While BiH is currently experiencing a year-on-year decrease in hate crime, “these numbers are misleading,” IRI said, explaining that such statistics “discount hate speech and online warmongering.”
Dodik’s “inflammatory decrees” set in motion the seizure of state competencies in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, and this, in turn, caused Bosnia’s digital environment to be “burgeoned with discriminatory statements and hateful rhetoric,” the institute said.
“Likewise, hate crime numbers do not include large events, such as the January 9 rallies where groups of Bosnian Serbs in RS chanted the name of a convicted war criminal and sang nationalist songs during torchlight processions,” it said.
“In this environment, the tipping point into larger conflict could be closer than expected. Other large events like sports events and religious ceremonies pose high-security risks, including a greater chance of hate crime before, after, and during such events,” IRI warned.
One example of such events was a 2008 European Championship game between Turkey and Croatia where fighting broke out in the town of Bugojno “as Croats were attacked by Bosniak fans wearing Turkish jerseys,” it said.
IRI argued that the situation in BiH is made more precarious by the state’s weak institutions and “faltering political will to deal with hate crimes,” noting that officials are often unwilling to tackle this issue, both because they are unaware the issue exists and because the capacity of the criminal justice system is lacking.
“If tensions do continue to rise, there are few mechanisms – either in the courts or in legislative bodies – to identify and prosecute hate crimes. And while certain regions have committed to collecting reliable data, there is little momentum towards measures that could encourage victims to report hate crimes or hate speech incidents. As a result, many crimes motivated by bias are underreported and scarcely prosecuted – necessary first steps towards preventing them,” it said.
According to IRI, the overall approach to hate crimes throughout the BiH judicial system is “selective and inconsistent.”
“In fact, there is no statewide methodology for monitoring or reporting them. Police are not required to report – or even consider – bias motivation when responding to crime. Although most police choose to give special care to episodes of inter-ethnic violence, they are left without robust resources when dealing with such cases. Specific protocols for ensuring that hate crimes are recorded and treated properly are missing in many municipalities and there are no dedicated hate crime investigation units anywhere in the country. Likewise, police need the support of the full criminal justice system – prejudice is rarely considered when passing verdicts in court, which would create public recognition and convince members of the community that such crimes will not go unpunished,” it said.
“To begin addressing this issue, it is vital to keep track of the nature and extent of these crimes,” IRI said, adding that together with its local partners, the institute is working towards building a network of legislators and active informants that understand and respond to these issues.
Currently, IRI is supporting members of the European Integration and Security Caucus as they work on parliamentary initiatives dealing with hate speech and journalists’ rights and safety.
“But more remains to be done. Current inter-ethnic relations in BiH are unlikely to improve if public awareness of the continued hate crimes is low. BiH should combine an institutional system for the recording and collecting of hate crime data with more effective policing approaches on the local level. The solution must involve multiple levels of government making lateral connections to the public. Before that, however, the first step to solving this issue is to recognize it,” IRI said.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/international-republican-institute-hate-crimes-still-endanger-unity-in-bih/

Dodik tells Baerbock RS not planning to secede from BiH

March 10, 2022
Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity has no plans for secession, but Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be built without respect for the entity’s Constitutional position, BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik said after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, on Thursday.
Dodik said he thanked Barbock for her interest in the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“I said that there is a significant political spin aimed at presenting the situation in BiH as unstable, which of course is not true. We talked about EUFOR (the European peace-keeping force), its role in all this, which has our support, and their (EUFOR’s) assessments of security should be respected more, instead of not some misleading political propaganda that comes from Sarajevo mostly,” Dodik said hinting at the fact that EUFOR increased the number of troops from 600 to 1,100, several days ago, bringing in a number of IFV and other transport vehicles.
The Presidency member also pointed out that he said that the future of Europe cannot be built by dismantling some individual countries.
“This is not how BiH can be built if the constitutional position of the RS is not respected. I think we agree that a completely neutral legal analysis of the situation in the country, without political interference and the addition of anyone’s wishes, should be made under the auspices of Germany. And that a serious, legal analysis should be made about what has been done and what the situation in BiH is so that we can talk on the basis of that document. It seems to me that the Minister understood that and that this could be expected in the future,” he added.
He said he explained to Baerbock that there are no activities BiH related to the secession from the state.
“The internal political struggle and the search for a constitutional position for the RS is not secession and we will continue to fight persistently for the constitutional position of the RS and that, of course, we will never give up on,” he said.
Speaking about Serbia and Croatia’s interference in BiH’s internal affairs, Dodik categorically rejected such claims adding that a “serious country such as Germany will not accept such frivolous claims.”
All in all, he concluded that the meeting was pleasant and “correct”.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-tells-baerbock-rs-not-planning-to-secede-from-bih/

Far-right Chetnik group marks its annual event under police supervision in BiH

March 13, 2022
Members of the far-right Ravna Gora Chetnik movement from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia gathered to honour late Serbian WWII general Dragoljub Draza Mihajlovic, but this time without a performance in the town of Visegrad and under the supervision of police and EUFOR peacekeepers, BIRN reported.
Mihajlovic was sentenced to death in 1946 for high treason and cooperation with Nazi Germany. He was rehabilitated by the High Court in Belgrade in 2015.
Several dozen people attended a commemorative service, which included laying wreaths and lighting candles for Mihajlovic and his followers, that took place in the Dobrunska River, known as “Drazevina” near Visegrad. As opposed to previous years, those attending were not wearing uniforms.
The gathering did not take place in Visegrad because the Interior Ministry in Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity banned it citing security concerns.
The president of the Ravna Gora Movement of Republika Srpska, Dusan Sladojevic, told the BIRN that the date was important to them and would always be celebrated.
He said he is disappointed that the group was not allowed to pay tribute to Mihajlovic as usually because of the ban.
“When we pay tribute, we pay tribute to a general, he was not a postman or a firefighter,” he complained.
In December 2021, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina acquitted members of the movement Dusan Sladojevic, Slavko Aleksic and Risto Lecic on charges of inciting national, racial and religious hatred, discord and intolerance in the Visegrad area and its surroundings in March 2019.
Source:  N1

Parallel gatherings in Bosnia – one to support Ukraine, the other one for Russia

March 12, 2022
While citizens in the city of Tuzla, in Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, gathered to express support for Ukraine on Saturday, a gathering in support of Russia is taking place in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of Bosnia’s Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS) entity.
The City of Tuzla, the Tuzla Citizens’ Forum and the Srebrenica Memorial Center organized a rally in the city of Tuzla to express support for the people of Ukraine and peace in Europe and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We want to express support for peace in Europe and the preservation of peace in BiH. The strength of our message will directly depend on the number of people and citizens who come to Freedom Square,” said Tuzla’s mayor, Jasmin Imamovic.
Among those who will speak at the rally are academician Slavo Kukic, theatre and film director Dino Mustafic, journalist and publicist Dragan Bursac, as well as the charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in BiH.
At the same time, there is a rally taking place in Banja Luka in support of Russia. Among those to address the crowd are the president of the Socialist Party, Petar Djokic and the RS Minister of Labour, War Veterans and Disabled Persons’ Protection, Dusko Milunovic.
This gathering was organised by the local branch of the Night Wolves, a Russian Motorcycle Club with at least 45 chapters worldwide. The United States announced sanctions against the Night Wolves in 2014 due to their involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine.
There is no consensus on the topic of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat members of the tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, strongly condemned the Russian invasion, their colleague Bosnian Serb colleague in the institution, Milorad Dodik, has been arguing that BiH should remain neutral on the issue.
Their positions are also reflected among the population, so the Ukraine crisis has become an additional topic causing divisions in BiH.
While officials have stressed that there are no indications that the developments in Ukraine will result in destabilisation in BiH, analysts have warned that there is a possibility the crisis may spill over to the Western Balkans.
EUFOR has meanwhile doubled its troops in BiH “as a precautionary measure.”
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/parallel-gatherings-in-bosnia-one-to-support-ukraine-the-other-one-for-russia/

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