UK foreign secretary visits Bosnia to pledge support
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is visiting Sarajevo on Thursday to reaffirm the UK's commitment to peace and stability in Bosnia amid growing fears of malign influence from Russia in the ethnically-divided Balkan country.
During her one-day trip, Truss will meet with top Bosnian officials and announce plans to deepen "security and economic partnership with (the country) in the face of secessionists and Russian attempts to influence and destabilize" it, the UK Foreign Office said in a statement.
Truss will also address Bosnia's multi-ethnic armed forces to urge support for Ukraine with a message that "Russia's aggression cannot be appeased. It must be met with strength", it added.
Fears of destabilization have mounted in Bosnia in recent months as staunchly pro-Russia Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik increased his divisive rhetoric, threatening to dismantle the country's multi-ethnic institutions, block its long-stated strategic goal of joining NATO and advocating for the secession of the majority Serb parts of its territory.
Dodik's strong anti-Western stance has been repeatedly praised by Russia's ambassador to Bosnia, who stated in March that if Bosnian achieves its goal of NATO membership, Moscow "will have to react to this hostile act".
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