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BANJALUKA, September 20 /SRNA/ - Russian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Petr Ivantsov asserts that SDA’s initiatives foreseeing a reform of the Constitution are contrary to the main principles of the Dayton Peace Agreement and dangerous because they might dismantle the system of ethnic balance in BiH, which may produce very serious consequences.


"It isn’t surprising that the other two constituent peoples consider this a threat to their position in the country,” Ivantsov stated for Glas Srpske, commenting on a declaration of the Party of Democratic Action /SDA/.

He noted it was necessary to improve inter-ethnic trust in BiH instead of creating new tensions.

Commenting on a mild reaction from the Office of the High Representative to the SDA declaration, Ivantsov said he thought their comment should contain a concrete assessment of compliance of constitutional provisions with the provisions and principles of the peace treaty and BiH Constitution.

"Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. The OHR decided to stick to quoting certain documents on behalf of the Peace Implementation Council without citing anyone, and then emphasised the topic of BiH’s territorial integrity. I don’t support that approach,” stated Ivantsov.

He said he couldn’t but pay attention to the tone and speed of the OHR’s comments in cases about something coming from Republika Srpska. “They are instantaneous and very sharp, without sufficient reasons,” added Ivantsov.

Discussing the formation of authorities at the BiH level, Ivantsov said he was quite pessimistic as the Council of Ministers had not been formed for a year already, nor had the Government of the Federation of BiH, and that he was worried about the visible decline of international trust and ability to agree on issues of mutual interest.

"Unfortunately, this topic has become a hostage of fictional problems. It seems that some internal and external forces are simply interested in maintaining the status quo, the current Council of Ministers suits them, and they find the new configuration unpleasant. Fictional conditions derive from there, but the matter is not about them,” he said.

According to him, the situation regarding the Annual National Programme /ANP/ has brought the dialogue between political parties to a dead end, harming the agreement made in August which truly looked like a working version for establishing cooperation and an ultimate formation of the Council of Ministers.

"We urged the parties from the start to focus on the agenda that unites them, saying that principled disagreements regarding the matters like the ANP should be left to the future institutions to discuss them within the existing procedures, in accordance with the BiH legal regulations and international obligations,” recalled the Russian ambassador.

He noted that due to this stance, which he considered a logical approach, he was accused of meddling in internal matters, and stated that unlike him, his American counterparts, for example, the US State Secretary special envoy to Western Balkans Matthew Palmer openly stated that BiH must become a member of NATO and openly advocated sending the ANP to Brussels.

Ivantsov reiterated that the Russian line in the Balkans, therefore in BiH too, was exclusively based on intentions to develop a long-term, mutually useful cooperation with all legitimate political forces, contribute to the political and economic stability and security in the region and not use “influence”. /end/dš