U.S., EU Members Back Western Balkans’ Borders

The United States and Europe have expressed support for the territorial borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which have been called into question in a document that has circulated among EU officials.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council on May 4 that the U.S. position on the 1995 Dayton peace accords and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future as “a single state destined for the Euro-Atlantic community” remains unchanged.

Ireland and Estonia, which are nonpermanent members of the Security Council, joined France in affirming their “unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Bosnia.

The statements follow reports that a document has circulated among EU officials proposing the redrawing of borders in the Western Balkans to merge Kosovo with Albania and to incorporate parts of Bosnia into Serbia and Croatia to help the region’s EU integration.

A Slovenian news website last month published the document, allegedly sent to the EU by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Jansa denied handing the document to European Council President Charles Michel.

EU and U.S. officials rejected the idea of redrawing borders in the Western Balkans after reports about the document were published.

Thomas-Greenfield on May 4 also told the Security Council that the United States supports “the essential role” of UN envoy Valentin Inzko in monitoring and supporting the implementation of civilian aspects of the Dayton accords.

But Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN renewed Moscow’s attacks on Inzko.

“He presents the situation as if the Bosnian Serbs and the Croats alone were to blame for all the difficulties,” said Anna Evstigneeva.

She also denounced his “interference” and “manipulation of historical events,” and demanded he not be involved with Bosnia’s relations with the European Union and NATO.

Inzko said he regretted the verbal attacks, including being labeled a monster by Milorad Dodik, Bosnia’s nationalist Serb leader.

Based on reporting by AFP