UNSC agrees unanimously to permit European Union to extend its Operation Althea for one more year to ensure implementation of 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended three-year Bosnian war.

Operation Althea is one facet of a comprehensive and coherent EU commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Operation Althea is one facet of a comprehensive and coherent EU commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. (European External Action Service)

The UN Security Council has agreed unanimously to support the renewal of the European peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although Russia expressed some reservations.

The Council's approval on Wednesday permits the European Union to extend Operation Althea, formally the European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina or Eufor, for one year to ensure the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Accords, which ended the three-year Bosnian war.

Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Anna Evstigneeva said her country supported the resolution for the extension because it was "depoliticised" and "purely technical."

"At the same time, we would like to say once again we are concerned with the still unjustified and still unexplained doubling of the Eufor contingent in 2022," she said.

On February 24, the day Russia attacked Ukraine, Eufor announced the deployment of an additional 500 soldiers to Bosnia and Herzegovina, nearly doubling the 600 already in place.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Dayton Accords did not aim for a solution in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Dodik's pro-Russia stance 

In April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Western countries were studying alternative solutions to make sure an international stabilisation force can remain in Bosnia in case Russia blocks it at the United Nations.

At the end of October, Milorad Dodik, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, said he would request Russian President Vladimir Putin to support the continuation of Eufor-Althea, to avoid it being replaced by a NATO force, which Putin views as a threat.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is run by a tripartite presidency, aspires to join the Western military alliance.

But Dodik, who keeps friendly relations with Putin, and other Bosnian Serb leaders strongly opposed the idea.

READ MORE: Srebrenica: An open wound for Bosniaks

Source: AFP