Western countries warn Bosnian Serbs against secessionist move – POLITICO

The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy have condemned the move by lawmakers in the Autonomous Republika Srpska of Bosnia to begin the process of withdrawal from key national institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, warning that it threatens stability in the entire Balkan region.

Lawmakers in Republika Srpska voted Friday evening to begin work to withdraw the entity from the tax system, the judiciary and the army in Bosnia.

“Members of the ruling coalition of the Republic of Serbia must realize that continuing this impasse … harms the entity’s economic prospects, threatens the stability of the country and the entire region and threatens the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the European Union,” the Western countries read a joint statement.

They accused Republika Srpska politicians of “challenging” the Dayton Peace Accords – which the United States and the European Union brokered in the 1990s to end a war opposed by Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. Moves by Bosnian Serbs in recent weeks to weaken the settlement on which the Bosnian state is based have raised concerns in the West.

In their statement, Western countries called on the political leaders of Bosnian Serbs to “[abandon] A divisive and escalatory discourse and a return to state institutions with full capacity.

Milorad Dodik, leader of the Serbian National Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, told the entity council: “We face great challenges. If we do not solve these challenges, there is a danger [Bosnia and Herzegovina] It will collapse and that [Republika Srpska] You’ll move towards the exit.”

The vote was a non-binding motion. For it to go into effect, the House of Representatives would need to vote for it.

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