US Ambassador: I guess Russia left the Peace Implementation Council

NEWS 08.04.202214:15 0 komentara

The United States is not in BiH with the goal of abolishing its Republika Srpska (RS) entity, but because of the concerns regarding recent moves by RS authorities, US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Michael Murphy said during a visit to Banja Luka.

“Neither I nor the United States is here to abolish the RS, I was very clear about that, unlike what people are saying. I have expressed the concerns that exist on our side regarding the statements and actions that officials here have taken. By this I mean the decisions to withdraw from work of state institutions and to establish parallel structures in the RS,” Murphy said.

When asked by N1’s reporter about Russia’s role in the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) in BiH, the Ambassador said he thought Russia had pulled out of the Council.

“Russia doesn’t participate in the PIC’s work, they haven’t paid the membership fee to the Office of the High Representative (OHR), so I guess that Russia decide to leave [the PIC],” the Ambassador said, adding: “Ask the Russians.”

Speaking about his visit to Banja Luka, Murphy pointed out that he met with representatives of the authorities, civil society, and representatives of cultural institutions.

“In meetings with government officials, I underlined that the United States supports the country's territorial integrity, sovereignty and multiethnic character. I stressed that we want functional, efficient and responsible state institutions in which leaders of all parties work in good spirit. I emphasized that we want to see functional and efficient and responsible entities that will work for the benefit of a democratic society,” the Ambassador said.

As one of the examples of their concern the Ambassador noted the adoption of the Law on State Property and said that this issue should be resolved in BiH institutions so that politicians would sit down and talk.

“I expressed dissatisfaction with the adoption of the Law on State Property. It contradicts the constitution and the Dayton Accords. I pointed out the practical consequences that such decisions can have on the citizens of BiH and the RS. For example, the Law on state property will create legal uncertainty that will affect business, and affect the prosperity of citizens,” he said.

Murphy also clarified how he sees a solution to this problem.

“If the state needs a certain property to perform its functions, the state will keep that property. If this is not the case, the property will be transferred to the entity, canton or local community. This issue has been around during my last term, as well,” said the Ambassador.

Russia still a PIC member

“Russia is a member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council in BiH. There is no mechanism to suspend our participation in the business of this institution,” the Russian Embassy in BiH told N1.

“Russia's principled position on the illegitimacy of Mr [Christian] Schmidt as High Representative in BiH is well known. This does not necessarily mean that we are not taking part in the work of the PIC Board,” the Embassy said adding that they are ready to consider the possibility of resuming cooperation with Mr Schmidt if he obtains the necessary consent of the UN Security Council for this function.

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