Russian ambassador in Bosnia: Republika Srpska ‘Moscow's crucial partner’

Igor Kalabuhov (N1)

Russian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Kalabukhov said it was a great honour to address the entity parliament of Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-majority region, as he was the first foreign ambassador to do so. He said in his address that Republika Srpska is "Moscow's crucial partner."

In his speech during the special session of the Republika Srpska National Assembly, Kalabukhov said that his country advocates for “strict respect for the constituent status of peoples and two entities that Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of.”

“We are convinced that the decentralised architecture of the Dayton (peace agreement) ensures the normal functioning of both entities and provides a framework for the normal life of the constituent peoples and others. We believe that external interference and the imposition of solutions will have far-reaching consequences. We must note the role of a part of the international community and the selfish desire to implement their political agenda, especially through the imposition of Euro-Atlantic integration, which has led to the corrosion of the Dayton Accords,” said Kalabukhov, referring to the peace deal which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war and introduced the country's constitution.

He also reiterated the Russia's position on the appointment of, as he said, “German citizen” Christian Schmidt as the international community's High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, assessing it as an example of the “international community's bad policy.”

“I consider sanctions against politicians who lead an independent policy to be equally disastrous. Sanctions against independent media in Republika Srpska also deserve condemnation. I respect the sovereign right of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement its foreign policy priorities but we also have the right to emphasise the problems with Bosnia and Herzegovina's accession to alliances that pursue hostile policies against Russia,” the ambassador underlined.

He expressed wish to expand the relations with the Bosniaks and the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding, however, that Republika Srpska is “Moscow's crucial partner.”

EU, US convey message for RS delegates ahead of Russian ambassador's address

Speaking about the war in Ukraine and sanctions against his country, Kalabukhov said that “the West is distorting the goals of the special operation in Ukraine.”

“We believe that the ties between Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have a great potential. The fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina has refused to join sanctions against Russia has led to an increase in exports from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Russia, despite the insinuations that Bosnia and Herzegovina imposed sanctions on Russia, and that is why we classify Bosnia and Herzegovina among friendly states,” said the Russian ambassador said, adding that “the extension of the gas supply agreement on the same terms” was a confirmation of such friendly relations.