UNITED NATIONS, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has decided not to participate in the UN Security Council vote on continuing a European Union-led force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Explaining the decision, Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin referred, as he has in the past, to bias against Republika Srpska, stressing that the process in the country should not be "infused with new concepts such as the integration of the country into [the] European Union and NATO".
Referring to the October elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Churkin said the vote "reaffirmed the ability of local parties to resolve their issues", adding that this should be done without external interference.
The UN Security Council debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina started on Tuesday with High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Valentin Inzko saying that "we expect the needs of citizens to be tackled head on and for the country to be put back on track for Euro-Atlantic integration".
Inzko told the Security Council that "challenges to Dayton and to the sovereignty of the State must stop".
"I am appalled that some leaders still insult the intelligence of their own citizens, believing that talk of secession, division and hatred will hide their own failures to deliver a better life for people," Inzko added.
The BiH High Representative stressed that "the future [of Bosnia and Herzegovina] is not about dividing people. It is about coming together to build a better tomorrow".
Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. In 1990, a significant debate developed on the issue of whether to stay with the Yugoslav Federal Republic, a choice favored among Serbs, or to seek independence, favored among Bosniaks and Croats.
The Dayton Accords that ended Bosnia's 1992-95 inter-ethnic war created the Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Bosnia's proclamation of independence in 1992 came at the price of a brutal war in which Serbs fought against Muslims and Croats, claiming 100,000 lives.