Bosnia and NATO already cooperate in many fields and this relationship has only improved over time, Javier Colomina, NATO's Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Security Policy told N1 Friday, adding that the pace of this cooperation and the final decision of the country's accession is Bosnia's internal matter and the Alliance will respect every BiH's decision.
N1 asked when can BiH's accession to the NATO alliance be expected?
“It is a very difficult question. A lot depends on your own commitment and the pace you want to have in cooperation with NATO. So far, that cooperation has been very sincere and we must continue to work on it. We have cooperation in many aspects, including practical cooperation and the fact that we encourage your authorities to participate in peacekeeping and stability operations with the UN and the EU. We cooperate on stopping the smuggling of illegal arms, there’s the information-cyber hybrid and a lot is happening in our relations already. We want to improve the pace at which Bosnia and Herzegovina moves towards NATO, but we must go step by step and implement a new reform program in 2023.” – Javier Colomina told N1.
“The package for building the defence capacity that BiH will receive is very specific and so far only six other NATO partners have it, it is a specific tool that we have and it's a first-hand help for certain countries. It is a privileged package that only six other partners have. We are already working on it and we hope to be able to approve this package in February. We must re-establish and restore the importance of the Western Balkans as a region in NATO. We will continue to do so in the coming months.”
N1 asked what if the authorities in Bosnia's Republika Srpska (RS) entity organize a referendum on this issue?
“That is a matter of your internal politics that you just have to solve. The only thing we can do is support you and your Euro-Atlantic aspirations at the pace you want us to. And as I said to the member of the Presidency, we are now seeing positive momentum in accordance with the circumstances. We encourage the future convocation of the BiH Presidency to take advantage of this moment and make the decisions that this country must make. The different balance that we have in your country is a problem of domestic politics that you have to solve according to democratic principles,” Colomina said.