Russia-Britain tensions rise over UN Srebrenica resolution

Britain drafts UN resolution condemning killings of Bosnians Muslims in Srebrenica, Russia says text disregards whole conflict

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Britain and Russia have held firm to deep disagreements over the Srebrenica genocide as a draft UN Security Council resolution asks for reflection on the genocide of Bosnians in Srebrenica in July 1995.

Britain has drafted a security council resolution which condemns “the genocide in Srebrenica”, while the Russian text instead condemns "the most serious crimes of concern to the international committee."

More than 8,000 people, mostly Bosnian Muslim men and boys, were killed by Serbian forces in July 1995, which many see as the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.

Neither side shows any sign of bending in their positions over the resolution that has alarmed Serbia.

Serbia has called on Russia to veto the resolution when the Security Council is due to vote on July 7.

“The 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide is a moment to pause and reflect on the lessons learned of the darkest moment in UN history and commit to making 'Never Again' a reality,” British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said, urging for “further steps” to prevent another genocide.

Russia has bristled at what it sees as UK interference in the Balkans while the UK argues a large scale massacre cannot be ignored.

The Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 rattled the Balkans as well as the Muslim world and led to mass protests in the Muslim countries.

Russia has said while it is prepared to talk about the Srebrenica events, it will not back down on its position.

Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Petr Iliichev said the draft focuses only on one aspect, disregarding the whole conflict.

Moscow’s latest row with Britain comes as Russia seeks for more dominance in its hinterland.

Russia’s increasing assertiveness in the Eastern Europe has led some of its ex-Soviet neighbours to explore closer military ties to NATO, which is rebalancing its posture toward the region.

TRTWorld and agencies