In a statement for the Voice of America, Timothy Ash, head of Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa credit strategy for Nomura International, says that “everything is possible” when it comes to holding a referendum in the Republic of Srpska.
“Serbia will play an important role in this decision, and Vučić is willing to exercise European policy at this moment”, Ash says.
As the Voice of America reports, the decision about the referendum is uncertain since the House of the Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Parliament rejected the proposal from a SDP MP Denis Bećirović to include the debate about the referendum in the Parliament’s agenda.
Also, the ambassadors from the Managing Board of the Council for the Implementation of Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (with the exception of the Russian one), called upon the authorities in the Republic of Srpska not to hold a referendum about the Republic Day because they view this is a factor that would destabilize Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“The ambassadors from the Managing Board of the Council for the Implementation of Peace have acknowledged reassurances from the Republic of Srpska’s government that the goal of the referendum is “to be a step towards implementing a decision made by the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Constitutional Court”. However, the Council’s Managing Board also acknowledges that the President of the Republic of Srpska and its National Parliament have contested the authority of the state legislative institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina on several occasions. Such statements and moves are contrary to the General Framework Agreement on Peace and the Rule of the Law and are simply unacceptable”, the ambassadors from the Managing Board of the Council for the Implementation of Peace said in a press release.
The Balkan media say that the both the governments in Belgrade and Zagreb are using the referendum to further their own interests.
“There is the election in Croatia, which certainly doesn’t help the matter. I am not sure whether there is a background agenda to this, but maybe the lack of clear leadership in Croatia at the moment allows some opportune people to use the situation”, Ash says.
The London-based analyst also says that the situation in the Balkans would calm down after the election because the focus will shift.
“There is only one problem. After Brexit and the Dutch referendum on the Ukrainian association agreement, I think there is a lot of doubt about the EU enlargement at the moment. Will the Union take up new members? In the last decade, the Balkan countries, like Serbia and Croatia, paved the way for themselves towards the EU accession, with a good chance of becoming members. However, if there is no longer a possibility for Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia to become members, why would then these countries give up their national interests and sovereignty for a higher purpose?”, Ash concludes.
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