Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Russia threatens veto in UN Security Council row over Bosnia envoy

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Russia has threatened a veto in the Security Council over a row involving the appointment of German politician Christian Schmidt as UN High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Moscow threatened to veto the Security Council’s authorisation for the European-led multinational stabilisation force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, sources said.

A vote was scheduled in the council on Tuesday, but has now been postponed to Wednesday afternoon.

The stabilisation force’s previous authorisation by the 15-member council would expire on Friday.

Russia and several other mainly Western members of the Security Council have been at odds over Bosnia-Herzegovina policy recently.

Several months ago, Russia and China tried unsuccessfully to abolish the office of High Representative that Schmidt had assumed on Aug. 1, arguing that the position was no longer needed.

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But Western diplomats in New York emphasised that the Security Council did not have the authority to decide whether to continue the position of High Representative.

The 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, called for a Peace Implementation Council to appoint a High Representative.

A diplomatic source said that in the ongoing negotiations on the authorisation of the stabilisation force, Moscow had called for any mention of the High Representative to be removed from the agreement.

Bosnia-Herzegovina with its three main ethnic groups – Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats was ran by a highly complex, multi-ethnic administration topped by a tripartite presidency.

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The country remained divided between two largely autonomous regions, the Serb-dominated Srpska Republic, RS, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FBiH, which was shared by Bosniaks and Croats.


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