Ukraine’s outgoing Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Oleksandr Levchenko says that “the meddling of Russian fingers” is “visible” Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He also told Radio Free Europe in an interview that destabilizing this region is something that is in the interest of Russian President Vladimir Putin – “as he would later always arrive as a peacemaker.”
“He comes, ignites war, and then arrives as some factor, ready to talk to the West, to America, to resolve that situation. And all the domestic people will be hurt, you understand? And who ignited it? Putin. Via whom did he ignite these relations here? Their people will be the first to suffer for an absolutely foreign interest. The man who effectively lobbies for Moscow’s interests on the ground here, fanning the war events, must be recognized. That is very, very dangerous. There should be special caution toward these politicians,” said Levchenko.
Asked “what he thought about many analysts saying that the annexation of Crimea can be linked with some territorial realignments in the Western Balkans – such as for example Kosovo or the Serb Republic (RS),” he “pointed out that it is clear Crimea creates a very dangerous precedent that can send the world, and the political system created after WW2, to hell.”
“That means, you can come, take somebody else’s territory – Crimea is larger than Macedonia and Montenegro put together – can you imagine that. To their comparisons, that Crimea is the same as the situation with Kosovo, I say: listen, first of all, there was no Albanian army in Kosovo, you came to Crimea with the army,” said Levchenko.
And secondly, continued the Ukrainian ambassador, “Kosovo has not been annexed to Albania.”
“Crimea’s situation is absolutely different. But they don’t care about that. What’s important to them is to redraw these borders in the sense of destabilizing the situation, for nations to suffer once again there, and for Russia to make political points, because it can, through some of its factors, some of its alliances, resolve the situation. That’s a very dirty game, according to me, and this game has already been seen through by the domestic people, domestic politicians, and in general, this relationship should be reexamined, as many countries have reexamined it – is Russia at all a partner, or a country that brings nothing but danger for the European security,” he said.
As for the Serb entity, the RS, Levchenko said it is “an integral part of Bosnia-Herzegovina:
“Unfortunately, after the annexation of Crimea, some politicians started saying that the RS is the same as Crimea. As the ambassador here, I have personally reacted to these statements, that it was very dangerous to compare the RS with Crimea. If somebody wants a new annexation like Crimea, that will lead to very difficult consequences in these regions. I am convinced there are people in the RS and healthy forces who understand where pushing for such a dangerous situation would take them.”