BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – Bosnia and Herzegovina has the right to decide whether to be a member of NATO but Moscow reserves the right to react to such a possibility under its interests, a Russian envoy said Thursday.
“If Bosnia and Herzegovina decides to be a member of anything, it is an internal matter. But the other thing is our reaction. In the example of Ukraine, we have shown what we expect. If there is a threat, we will react,” the Russian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Kalabukhov told the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Television.
Kalabukhov said Bosnians do not have to be afraid of Russia.
He believes security in Bosnia is guaranteed if the political situation develops based on dialogue, without any radical moves.
Bosniak member of the Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefik Dzaferovic, described Kalabukhov’s comments as an “attack on the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Dzaferovic said earlier that Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a member of the EU and NATO, would be safer and more protected.
He urged the EU and NATO to open their doors to Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Western Balkan countries, saying it will prevent risks, dangers and situations similar to the Ukraine crisis.
Croat Member of the Council, Zeljko Komsic, said the Russian ambassador’s statements are “unacceptable.”
The US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina called Kalabuhov’s statement a “threat” to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The embassy also reiterated its support to Bosnia and Herzegovina.