The Serbian government has threatened Bosnia and Herzegovina with dissolution if it recognizes Kosovo’s independence.
The Ministry of Defence published a statement by Minister Aleksandar Vulin, who warned Bosniak and Croat leaders of BiH that he would support Republika Srpska’s independence if they supported Kosovo’s.
The threat comes on the same day following an unsuccessful vote of the tripartite presidency of BiH on recognizing Kosovo.
Milorad Dodik, the leader of BiH entity Republika Srpska voted against.
Vulin slammed Bosnian and Croat leaders of the presidency, Šefik Džaferović and Zeljko Komsić, for voting for.
He said their vote shows that they don’t care of BiH Serbs’ opinion and feelings.
The minister rhetorically asked Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić how long he plans to preserve BiH territorial integrity while the latter does not respect Serbia’s.
Further deepening his “criticism” of Vučić, the minister “warned” him that he cannot forgive Bosniaks and Croats for “killing Serbia”, like he forgave them when they tried to “kill” him in Srebrenica.
Vulin’s allegation of an attempt to kill Vučić refers to the protest in 2015, when Serbia’s president visited Srebrenica on the 20th anniversary of the genocide. Within ten days starting from 11 July 1995, Serb forces killed 8,372 Bosniak Muslims in Srebrenica.
In 1995, Vučić was an MP for the far right nationalist Serbian Radical Party, its secretary-general, and one of the volunteers who visited Sarajevo under siege to support Serb troops. In 1998 he became Slobodan Milošević’s Minister of Information, and remained in his position throughout the Kosovo war and numerous massacres on civilians by the Serbian army.
Relatives of the 8,372 Bosniaks massacred by Serbs in Srebrenica did not welcome Vučić’s visit in 2015, and protested by also throwing stones toward his entourage. This is the “murder attempt” against Vučić, for which Vulin claims he has forgiven Bosniaks.
“If in BiH they are for an independent Kosovo, I am for an independent Republika Srpska,” Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin ended his threat.
It remains unclear if this threat amounts to a violation of the pledge signed in the presence of President Trump, through which Serbia vowed to stop lobbying countries to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo.
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