Claims that the security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is endangered in light of the war in Ukraine are "exaggerated", BiH Deputy Defence Minister, Mijo Kresic, told N1.
“I do not see a similar context when it comes to Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said, adding that the differences between the countries are also reflected in their neighbours.
“BiH's first neighbours are NATO member countries, in this part of Europe only Serbia and BiH are not members, but NATO is present in our country,” Kresic said.
He noted that, unlike in Ukraine, there is a NATO HQ in BiH.
“There is also EUFOR, and all the big players have signed off on EUFOR’s task of ensuring a safe and stable environment. NATO is also there to serve as direct support to the development and establishment of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces,” he said.
Kresic also noted that he discussed the issue with the NATO commander in the country on Friday and that they concluded that there are no indications that any escalation could happen in BiH in the short term.
He also commented on EUFOR’s recent decision to send 500 additional troops to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The increase in the number of soldiers is a matter of assessment by the EUFOR command,” he said, adding that, even after the new troops arrive in the country the total number of 3,500,000 EUFOR troops is not that high.
Kresic stressed that BiH’s position on the war in Ukraine should be fully in line with the EU's position, adding that some in the country “send different messages only out of spite or precisely because of that – to be different.”