"Srebrenica draft unacceptable" - Russian ambassador

The draft resolution on Srebrenica is unacceptable for Russia and such as it is now, "has not right to exist," says Russian Ambassador to Bosnia Petr Ivantsov.

Izvor: Tanjug

Friday, 19.06.2015.


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The Srebrenica memorial (Getty Images, file)

"Srebrenica draft unacceptable" - Russian ambassador

The British draft resolution condemns any denial of the genocide in Srebrenica, while UN member states are urged to include lessons "about such crimes" in school textbooks, the media reported previously.

The UN Security Council should debate the resolution, which has become a major topic in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the region, on July 7, four days before the marking of the 20th anniversary since the crime Srebrenica.

Asked about Russia's position on the document, Ivantsov told the Banja Luka daily Glas Srpske that the issue was "very sensitive," and was being "interpreted and used in different ways."

"What happened in Srebrenica is a great tragedy, but Srebrenica is not the only tragedy that happened during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We must respect all the victims of the conflict - Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. When marking the anniversary of Srebrenica, one must consider possible consequences on relations between the peoples in this country," warned the Russian diplomat.

The Russian Federation, Ivantsov stressed, does not put the responsibility for the crime in Srebrenica "on the Serbs and on Srpska (the Serb Republic)" , adding that "individuals are guilty of every crime, and there is no collective guilt."

"It cannot be said that a genocide was committed against a people. That should be made known clearly. There is also the other side of the crimes committed in Srebrenica. It is not a crime that was committed toward one side that took part in the conflict or by an entire nation toward another. I believe that this issue is highly politicized and any interpretation thereof should be very careful," said the ambassador.

As for the draft resolution, he is "convinced that such as it is now, it has no right to exist" and that, if it is to be considered in the UN Security Council, "it must be objective."

"The resolution should not talk about the past but about the future, reconciliation and trust, without which normal development of the country is impossible," said Ivantsov.

The Russian ambassador also denied that he had stated that "genocide happened in Srebrenica" - something he has been quoted as saying by the Sarajevo-based daily Dnevni Avaz.

Asked whether Russia would veto the resolution, said that it was "early to talk about it" as the final text of the draft has not yet been prepared.

Chairman of the Bosnian Presidency Mladen Ivanic also expects Russia to attempt to, if possible, through diplomatic channels "achieve a harmonized text of the resolution on Srebrenica."

"And whether they will go for the veto, that I really do not know. I think that other member states of the Security Council should assume a reasonable attitude and to try to get to a text that will be universally acceptable," said Ivanic, who represents the Serb entity, the RS.

British Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Edwards Ferguson, meanwhile, believes that there is no more appropriate way of paying tribute to all the innocent victims of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina than the adoption of the Srebrenica resolution in the UN Security Council.

He pointed out that the statement about the genocide in Srebrenica was not an attack on the RS, or Serbia, "or anyone else."

Previously, Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said he believed it would be "very difficult" to reach agreement on the wording of the draft "in Sarajevo," and that it was "a very risky move at a sensitive time when Bosnia-Herzegovina is trying to build a broad front of togetherness, when economic reforms are and a definitive turning to the future are at stake."

RS President Milorad Dodik has commented by saying that "if it is necessary to adopt a resolution on Srebrenica - why not declare this Srebrenica a site of genocide against both Serbs and Bosniaks (Muslims)."

Dodik believes that such a move would would be "in the function of reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, rather than the one-sided qualifications that are being advocated."

Dodik was on Friday in St. Petersburg where he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who referred to the resolution as being prone to complicating the situation in the region and "absolutely anti-Serb."

According to announcements before the meeting, Dodik was to tell Lavrov about the Serb entity's stance on the proposed British draft, "which should be rejected as unnecessary and insufficiently objective."

Late on Thursday, B92 learned that top Serbian officials had not sent an official request to Russia to veto the resolution, and that "consultations with diplomats were ongoing."

Previously, the daily Vecernje Novosti reported that the consultation on Serbia's position on this document should start on Thursday.

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