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Russia Sends Chilling Warning To Bosnia And Herzegovina That It Could End Up As Their Next Target

Russia Sends Chilling Warning To Bosnia And Herzegovina That It Could End Up As Their Next Target

The country has been warned against joining NATO and Russia 'will respond' if it does.

Russia has warned Bosnia and Herzegovina that it could be the Kremlin's next target following Ukraine.

Russian ambassador for the European country, Igor Kalbukhov, said Moscow 'will respond' if if they want to join NATO.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina have the right to decide whether to be a member of NATO, but Moscow reserves the right to respond to such an opportunity," Kalabukhov told Bosnian news channel FTV.

Bosnia, like Ukraine, has long said it wants to join NATO and the European Union.

Unsurprisingly, Moscow's latest threat has not gone down well with Bosnian officials.

The head of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zhelko Komšič slammed the statement made by the Russian ambassador.

"I strongly condemn the threats of the ambassador of the Russian Federation in Bosnia and Herzegovina", he said.

"The message of the Russian ambassador that Russia's reaction follows, setting the example of Ukraine against which Russia is aggravated, but at the same time unacceptable to Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Komšich said that the decision of Bosnia and Herzegovina to join NATO could only be a decision for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and not a 'reason for [an] attack' on their country.

"As the head of the Bosnia and Herzegovinan Presidency, I am obliged to condemn and reject threats that are not only a threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also a threat to peace and stability in the Western Balkans," Komšič said.

European Union Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell has told EU peacekeeping troops that their presence 'at this critical moment.. is more important than ever', issuing an unspoken warning to Moscow to not upset the delicate politics of Bosnia.

Borrell said a recent decision to beef up the EU peacekeeper force to 1,100 personnel had shown the EU's commitment to 'unity, to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina'.

The foreign affairs chief also stated he would 'continue deterring those who would feel emboldened to undertake destabilisation actions'.

The Kremlin threat comes three weeks after Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine, which has left 691 Ukrainians dead and a further and 1,143 wounded, according to the United Nations human rights office.

According to President Vlodomyr Zelenskyy, 97 Ukrainian children have died since the invasion began.

Russia recognised the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27 April 1992 after the country broke away from Yugoslavia.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: The Canadian Press/UPI/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, News, World News