Q1. BiH politicians hope
the MAP will be activated soon. Is it likely? If yes, when?
A1: NATO welcomes the progress BiH
achieved in the registration of prospective immovable defense properties to the State of BiH, for the use of BiH
Ministry of Defense. In this light, the Alliance stands ready to activate the Membership
Action Plan, once the condition set by NATO Foreign Ministers in Tallinn in
2010 is met, that all defense properties, required for future defense purposes,
are registered to the ownership of the State of BiH, for use by the BiH MoD.
Allies are monitoring this process very closely.
NATO has been providing support to the process of
registering defence properties, and we will continue to do so. It is important
to work together to keep up the positive momentum, while it is up to Bosnia and
Herzegovina to continue pursuing reforms to advance its Euro-Atlantic
Q2. Is the registration of properties to the State still
causing the headache? We are aware that
there are difficulties in this process despite court rulings.
A2: As already mentioned, NATO
Alliance has clearly communicated that it welcomes the progress that has been made in registering
defence properties to the state, and encourages BiH authorities to accelerate
their efforts, and to register more properties.
In wider terms, my overall impression is that the people in
the institutions of BiH continue to
work hard to meet the country’s commitments within NATO’s Partnership for
Peace. Most of this work is not visible to the public, but I assure you that it
is visible to NATO, and we commend
the commitment and the work of all those who contribute to this effort.
Q3. BiH public space is
swamped with information on Russia’s attempts to affect BiH in terms of security, politics and
economy. How do you comment this?
A3: NATO fully respects every
nation’s sovereign right to choose their own political and security
arrangements. We have a strategic interest in a stable and prosperous Western
Balkans, and that is why we work closely with all countries in the region. Consequently, NATO respects the request for assistance
which Bosnia and Herzegovina
extended to the Alliance to support the Euro-Atlantic integrations processes in the country.
Q4. How satisfied are you
with BiH cooperation with regard to NATO activities?
and Herzegovina has made significant progress in reshaping its armed forces and
defense structures, and this progress must be recognized. The Defense Review
agreed last year was an important step forward, and the focus now should be on implementation,
to make this review a reality. The recent decision to acquire new helicopters
is a good first step in this direction. As well, the modernization plan that
was agreed with the Defense Review is a very ambitious document. I think that
like all countries, BiH will find it necessary to prioritize its requirements
and to focus available funds on those priorities.
Also, BiH has made significant and concrete contributions to NATO-led
collective peace support and security operations, particularly when one
considers your limited defence
resources. Right now you have 60 military personnel serving with the NATO-led
mission in Afghanistan. BiH is also contributing to UN missions in the Congo
and Mali, and to the EU mission in the Central African Republic. Here at home, exercises conducted under the
auspices of NATO and/or EUFOR have been and will continue to be an important
training and readiness tool for the AFBiH. All the exercises are developed to ensure the AFBiH is prepared to not
only conduct Peace Support and Security Operations in a multinational environment
abroad, but also respond to events at home in case of natural disasters, in
order to protect the citizens of BiH.
In this light, it is important to maintain
momentum and engagement in NATO programs and to fulfil the associated commitments – to demonstrate
capability, ability, and credible
partnership. And NATO is here to assist the country in this process.
Q5. Are you concerned
about some politicians’ statements and moves directed at destabilizing the
country? We’ve heard about the "Night
Wolves” and that some of its members have been banned from entering BiH. How do
you comment this??
A5: We are aware of the issue in question. These are the matters for
the competent institutions of BiH to address.
In wider terms, I hear the
political rhetoric, but I also hear what average people have to say. I believe that the citizens of BiH and the
region want peace and security, as the basis for economic prosperity, and that
they want to have the right to live their lives without fear or intimidation of
any kind. The entire international community, not just NATO, remains committed
to peace in BiH, and all our joint efforts on BiH’s Euro-Atlantic integrations path, to
include our strong cooperation with local institutions in charge, have the same
goal – to increase security, stability and prosperity of BIH and the whole
Western Balkans. What is really visible to me as an outsider is that the people
who live in this country want their children and grandchildren to live in a
safe and prosperous BiH. I hope that they find leaders who will take them
forward instead of looking to the past.