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EU Invites Bosnia And Herzegovina To Membership Talks

European Union leaders have agreed to open membership talks with Bosnia-Herzegovina as the bloc seeks to pull a divided Western Balkan country closer into its orbit to counter Russian influence.

Photo by Guillaume Périgois / Unsplash

The move is a win for a nation still ethnically and politically divided, even decades after the 1992-95 war that tore the country apart, leaving more than 100,000 people dead and millions displaced.

EU Invites Bosnia And Herzegovina To Membership Talks

Bosnia comprises of two entities, Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and a Muslim-Croat federation, linked by a weak central government in Sarajevo.

Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who counts Russian President Vladimir Putin as an ally, has long threatened to secede from the rest of the country and has opposed NATO membership.

It could be many more years until the country formally joins the EU, as they would be required to implement more economic and democratic reforms.

The war in Ukraine has sharpened the EU’s awareness that it needs to show commitment to the Western Balkans.