NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Sarajevo on Sunday evening, kicking off a regional mini tour of the Western Balkans. Accompanied by strong security measures, Stoltenberg met with members of the BiH Presidency at a working dinner upon his arrival.
On Monday, Stoltenberg announced separate talks with the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Borjana Krista, Minister of Defense Zukan Helez, and officials of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including High Representative Christian Schmidt and commanders of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo and EUFOR.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of three countries in the region outside of NATO. It is a member of the Partnership for Peace program and has an approved Action Plan for NATO membership (MAP), which is a goal defined by current law on the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite this progress, implementation of reforms necessary for full membership in NATO has been blocked for years by politicians from Republika Srpska led by Milorad Dodik. Dodik also tries to maintain close ties with Russia at the same time.
After his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stoltenberg leaves for Pristina to continue his regional tour.