The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said on Monday that Croatia, as a signatory to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, considered Sunday's referendum in Republika Srpska (RS) unacceptable and in violation of a ruling by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court.
"It is an irresponsible act with the potential of destabilising Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider area of southeastern Europe," the ministry said in a statement, adding that Croatia supported "the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which all three peoples are constitutional and equal."
"Based on its own constitution, Croatia guarantees and will guarantee special care and protection for the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina," the statement said.
Bosnian Serbs decided at a referendum on Sunday that January 9 should be marked in their entity as Republika Srpska Day despite a court ban, with nearly 100 percent of voters who cast their ballots voting in favour. The vote gave rise to fears that it might be a prelude to a referendum on the Serb entity's secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatia said it strongly supported and assisted Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path to European Union membership. "That is the best guarantee to achieve lasting stability and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina," the statement said.