Foreign supervision prevents Bosnia's development: Russia

26th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The international supervision imposed on Bosnia after the 1992-95 war is stifling the functioning and development of the country, a top Russian diplomat said Monday.

"It is clear that the Office of the High Rrepresentative of the international community in Bosnia (OHR) is curbing the normal development of the country," Russian deputy foreign minister Vladimir Titov told Dnevni Avaz daily.

"Today, contrary to the first years after the war, the presence of a strong outside supervision jeopardizes the institutions of the (Bosnian) state and hinders its functioning rather than easing it," the Russian diplomat said.

Titov said that the OHR should have closed "a long time ago."

The international supervision was established in accordance with the peace accord reached in Dayton which ended the inter-ethnic conflict in Bosnia. The aim of the mission was to ensure the peace deal was respected.

The high representative, currently Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko, can also interfere in local political life and impose his decisions.

The closure of the OHR had been planned in 2007 but was delayed several times due to the continuing political instability in the war-torn country.

Bosnia is currently going through the worst political crisis since the war with almost 15 months without a general government following the general elections in October 2010.

The country remains deeply divided along ethnic lines into two entities, the Serb-run Republika Srpska and Muslim-Croat Federation.

The authority of the high representative has often been defied by Bosnian Serb leaders who support the closure of the OHR.

Muslim politicians prefer it to stay, hoping for reforms that strengthen the central institutions of the state.

© 2011 AFP

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