By Matthew Roscoe • 17 March 2022 • 23:10
VLADIMIR Putin has warned Bosnia and Herzegovina that “what has happened to Ukraine could happen to you” if the country decides to join NATO.
One of Putin’s government officials, Igor Kalbukhov, who is the ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, warned that Moscow will reserve a special kind of response if the Balkan country decides to join NATO, as reported by EFE and Europa Press.
“If (Bosnia and Herzegovina) decides to become a member of something, that’s an internal thing. Our reaction is another thing. In the example of Ukraine, we have shown what to expect. If there are threats, we will react,” Kalbukhov said in an interview on FTV television.
According to the Russian representative, it is the West that poses a threat to Bosnia and is lying when it accuses Moscow of wanting to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. “We have no plans. We will respond having analysed the strategic and geopolitical situation,” said the ambassador, who recalled that the country is divided over joining the Atlantic Alliance.
In response to the threats, Spanish news outlet AS reports that the current Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croat Zeljko Komsic, “strongly condemned” the remarks made by the Russian diplomat.
“The Russian ambassador’s message that a reaction from Russia would follow, using the example of Ukraine, against which Russia is waging aggression, is an unambiguous and unacceptable threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Komsic said.
According to Komsic, the Russian representative’s words pose “not only a threat to Bosnia-Herzegovina but to peace and stability in the Western Balkans”.
The US embassy in Bosnia also criticised the Russian diplomat’s remarks as “dangerous, irresponsible and unacceptable” and stressed that “no third country has a say in security arrangements between NATO and sovereign states,” as reported by AS.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
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