Hungary/Bosnia – After the Bosnian Serb Republic’s parliament voted on 10 December in favour of separating the Serbian state from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s central institutions, the authorities in Banja-Luka have just received the support of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The Serbian Republic is the key to stability in the Western Balkans
At a press conference held on Tuesday, 21 December, the Hungarian PM announced that Hungary would provide financial support of up to 100 million euros to the separatist republic and would veto any initiative by the European Union to sanction it. Orbán said Republika Srpska was “the key to stability in the Western Balkans” and he called for the region to be integrated into the European Union, saying that EU sanctions “could lead to even greater problems”.
Hungary will veto EU sanctions against Bosnian Serbs
“Let me stress that the Bosnian border is only 70 to 80 kilometres from our southern border, and any conflict could spill over into Hungary”,
Viktor Orbán added.
This statement, which comes along with Serbia’s and Russia’s traditional support for the Bosnian Serbian Republic, could well allow President Dodik to carry out his plans for independence from Sarajevo despite growing hostility from Germany, whose new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock (Greens), has declared that
“the efforts [of the Serb Republic] to separate [from Bosnia] are unacceptable, and this also means (…) that the existing sanctions regime should also be used against [Bosnian Serb President Milorad] Dodik”.
Baerbock is thus following in the footsteps of her predecessor Heiko Maas (SPD). Decisions on EU foreign policy require unanimity among the 27 member states, however.