Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency chair Zeljko Komsic's statements before the UN General Assembly are irresponsible and politically damaging, unnecessarily raising tensions and slowing BiH's EU membership path, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said in New York on Wednesday.
Commenting on Komsic's accusation of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic of breaching international law and comparison with Vladimir Putin, he said Komsic was the one “breaching international law because he is parasitizing on the right of others, that is, he is a usurper of the Croat quota stemming from the international… Dayton-Paris agreement.”
“Every people has the right to elect its representative in the BiH Presidency and he wasn't elected with the votes of the Croat people, but usurped that right because of the imperfection of that (election) law. What he is doing is absolutely outrageous,” Grlic Radman said.
With his “irresponsible” statements, he added, Komsic is doing “a big disservice to the political leaders in the Council of Ministers who actively advocate Bosnia and Herzegovina's European perspective.”
“It is thanks to Croatia, which has achieved its foreign policy goals and where Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in particular supports BiH, Bosnia and Herzegovina was given candidate status last December, and now, together with other member states, we are advocating the opening of accession negotiations between BiH and the European Union. His statements are very damaging because they raise unnecessary tensions and slow down BiH's EU path. We can't see on whose behalf Komsic is doing that and why he is doing that. I repeat, he is a usurper and damage doer, he is parasitizing on the right of others,” said Grlic Radman.
In his address to the UN General Assembly earlier on Wednesday, Komsic, accused Croatia and Serbia of interfering in his country's internal affairs and attempting to divide it along ethnic lines.
Without explicitly mentioning any names, but evidently alluding to Plenkovic, Komsic likened him to Russian leader Putin for his comment on the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights in a complaint filed by Komsic's advisor Slaven Kovacevic, who complained about being discriminated against because his right to participate in elections is restricted by his ethnicity.
Commenting on that judgement, Plenkovic said that regardless of it, one should insist on the legitimate representation of Croats in BiH government bodies.
“We have taken note of the judgement, but we reiterate very clearly that we will advocate the legitimate representation and equality of the constituent peoples and all the others who live in BiH. We are against the policy of imposing on the Croat people other representatives in the highest government bodies. That has repeatedly happened with the election of BiH Presidency members and has happened four times in the last 16 years,” Plenkovic said early this month.
Komsic sees this as proof that Plenkovic is like Putin.
“Disregard for the rulings of international courts demonstrated by the prime minister of the neighbouring country resembles the attitude to international law Vladimir Putin has developed in the case of Ukraine. However, this is not only about a negative attitude to international standards of the UN but about a policy conducted towards Bosnia and Herzegovina by its neighbours,” Komsic said in his address.