bosnia, republika srpska.png
Photograph: By PRODUCER (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miro Kovac, said on Monday that Sunday's referendum in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska was in contravention of Bosnia and Herzegovina's constitution and that any attempts to break up Bosnia and Herzegovina were unacceptable to Croatia.

"The referendum is unacceptable to us and is not contributing to stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such referendums should be avoided and Bosnia and Herzegovina should be moving towards the EU. It must guarantee constitutionality and equality for the Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs, and that's our policy," Kovac told the press outside the head office of his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party.

"Any partitioning or disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unacceptable to Croatia, which vouches for the existence of Bosnia and Herzegovina," he said.

Bosnian Serbs decided at a referendum on Sunday that January 9 should be marked in their entity as Republika Srpska Day, 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.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court banned the referendum as unconstitutional and discriminatory against the Croats and Bosniaks. The vote was held despite the ban.

Kovac said that Croatia, as a signatory to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a guarantor of the country's constitution.

Kovac said that he would work with his colleagues in Serbia to ensure that no new referendums were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that such efforts would be supported by the partners in the international community and witnesses to the Agreement for Peace, namely Russia, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

"We will work with these countries to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina survives and embarks on the path of integration into the EU," Kovac said, welcoming last week's decision by the Bosnian Council of Ministers requesting an opinion from the European Commission on Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU membership application.

He said that in a telephone conversation on Monday he agreed with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the need to work on the survival and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the Dayton peace agreement and respect for the principle of equality for all three ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks.

Commenting on the case of conversion of loans denominated in the Swiss franc into euro-denominated loans, Kovac said that Croatia would fight for Croatian interests and the interests of its citizens.

Asked if Croatia would recognise the outcome of arbitration in this case, Kovac said that "we will do all in our power to protect all debtors with loans denominated in that currency."

"We will fight for Croatian interests. We are a law-governed state. There are international treaties, as well as international and European law. We will use them in our fight for Croatian interests and the interests of Croatian citizens, which is a priority," Kovac said.

Related stories

Latest news

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.

Trump says he represents America, 'not the globe'

US President Donald Trump said Friday his aim is to serve the United States and not the rest of the world, doubling down on his "America First" message in wide-ranging remarks to a conservative conference.

Croat member of Bosnia's state presidency says crisis won't escalate

The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's collective State Presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Friday that the crisis caused by the unilateral submission of a request for a review of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) genocide ruling from 2007 against Serbia would not escalate into an armed conflict.

IAEA: Iran's enriched uranium stock far below allowed limit

Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium is currently less than half of what is allowed under the Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement with major powers, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported Friday.

Trump attacks media at conservative gathering

US President Donald Trump lambasted the media in remarks to a gathering of conservative activists outside Washington Friday, doubling down on charges that some parts of the press are the "enemy."

Birth anniversary of Croatia's 1st female journalist to be marked

The Centre for Women's Studies, which manages the Marija Juric Zagorka Memorial Apartment and carries out documentary-information, educational and cultural activities related to the study and promotion of the heritage of this novelist and Croatia's first female journalist, stated on Friday that it was marking the 144th anniversary of the birth of Marija Juric Zagorka next week.

Italian police arrest 55 doctors, nurses for being clock-in cheats

Police on Friday arrested 55 doctors, nurses, and other staffers at a Naples public hospital for being clock-in cheats.

Works on new section of Istrian Y motorway in autumn, says minister

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Friday works on the second stage of the Istrian Y motorway were expected to begin in the autumn, an investment of EUR 150 million in which Croatian companies would be included.