Russia insists it is unacceptable to impose constitutional reforms on Bosnia-Herzegovina by other countries. This was stated by Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin addressing a UN Security Council meeting. The US and the European Union are pressing Bosnia-Herzegovina to carry out constitutional reforms and work out their own amendments to the constitution and linking their adoption with granting the country the candidate status for EU membership. Bosnia-Herzegovina is a confederation under the Dayton agreement of 1995 that put an end to the almost four-year conflict. It consists of Moslem-Croatian Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation and Republika Srpska, which enjoy a high level of independence in political, economic and other areas.
Washington and Brussels are dissatisfied with this situation and insist on forming a central government in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Officially, this demand is substantiated by the improper function of the existing system based on the representation of the three-state-forming people – Croats, Serbs and Bosnian Moslems. In reality the demand has far-reaching aims, says the head of the Centre for the Study of the Contemporary Balkan Crisis in Moscow, Elena Guskova.
All reforms are aimed at centralizing Bosnia-Herzegovina and uniting all its integral parts, says Elena Guskova. Post-Dayton Bosnia-Herzegovina exists as a state where ethnic rights of all people are honoured. For one, Republika Srpska has formed a strong state. Currently, all ethnic-groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been set several conditions if they wish to join the EU which they must meet. These groups must first and foremost found a state where there are no ethnic divisions and no Republika Srpska, said Elena Guskova.
No matter what the motive of the authors of reforms is, clearly, carrying out the reforms can only destabilize the situation and dead-lock Bosnian settlement. In fact, the politicians of Bosnia-Herzegovina are aware of this. In October, the leaders of seven Bosnian parties, who discussed the issues at the military base Butmir in Sarajevo, rejected the American-European proposals.
The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina should determine their future only by themselves. Consequently, there is a possibility of reviewing the Dayton agreement on the basis of consensus of Republika Srpska and the Moslem-Croatian Federation and all the ethnic groups living there, says Vitaly Churkin. These should achieve consensus voluntarily and without arm-twisting and imposing schemes thought up outside the country.