EUFOR to conclude military exercise in Sarajevo

The European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) concludes its annual Exercise Quick Response today at Camp Butmir in Sarajevo.

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Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

The European Union Force Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) concludes its annual Exercise Quick Response today at Camp Butmir in Sarajevo.

The European military operation, conducted in partnership with NATO, aims to secure a stable environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and facilitate its progress towards EU integration. However, progress has been impeded by major disagreements between the two political entities that constitute the country, especially given pointed ethnic tensions and Bosnia’s weak rule of law. While Bosnian and Croat representatives support Bosnia’s ascension to NATO, the Serbian co-president remains opposed to the rapprochement, which would consequently alienate Russia, the Serbs’ main ally in the Balkans.

Bosnia’s participation in NATO is perhaps more pertinent than its potential EU integration. The prospect of Sarajevo’s accession to the alliance is of particular interest to the US, given Washington’s geostrategic objective of countering Russian influence in the Balkans. Bosnia could therefore provide a proxy staging ground for the manifestation of this rivalry, with unfortunate ramifications for one of the poorest countries in Europe.

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