Kučan: Declassification of Old Bosnia Text to “Divert Attention” From Allegations Janša Wants to Change Balkan Borders

By , 12 Jun 2021, 07:23 AM Politics
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STA, 11 June 2021 - Former Slovenian President Milan Kučan believes the government declassifying a 2011 document on possible further paths in the process of constitutional reform of Bosnia-Herzegovina, compiled by him, is a move to divert attention from the allegations that PM Janez Janša was spreading a non-paper on re-drawing of borders in the Western Balkans.

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"I understand the government's decision to remove the confidentiality label from the document as diverting attention from the reproaches to the prime minister about disseminating a non-paper on the changing of borders in South-east Europe," Kučan told the STA on Friday.

This comes after the government said on Thursday it had declassified a document dated 26 January 2011 on "possible further paths for a successful process of the constitutional reform of Bosnia-Herzegovina".

In the announcement, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) noted that the document had been created based on a decision of the government that had been in office at the time.

It was the government of Borut Pahor (2008-2011) that appointed Slovenia's first President Milan Kučan as its special rapporteur on Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2010.

According to Kučan, the document has already been published in a book by historian Božo Repe, and "is no secret".

The document published on the government website today is indeed identical to the document published in the book mentioned by Kučan. And it is not the document that the news portal Necenzurirano released in April claiming that this was the non-paper attributed to Slovenia.

It is, however, not yet clear whether this is the document the government refers to as the STA is still waiting for government approval to access the document.

The government said yesterday that, "considering that the content of the document has for the most part been publicly known for several weeks, the conditions required for this document to retain the classified status no longer exist."

This is probably a reference to the content of the document possibly being similar to that of the alleged non-paper on border changes in the Western Balkans.

Kučan told the STA that he had prepared the report for the Borut Pahor government at the time as the prime minister was to speak about Bosnia-Herzegovina at a session of the European Council.

"In it I speak mostly about the EU needing to show more interest in Bosnia-Herzegovina which is, as I wrote, a non-functioning state, to bring it back on its feet so that it is capable of negotiating conditions for the EU accession," he added.

Kučan stressed that his report could by no means be compared with the controversial non-paper that allegedly speaks about new borders in the Western Balkans. It has been informally labelled as Slovenian as certain media reported that Janša had helped disseminate it, which the prime minister denies.

"There is not a single word in my document about changing borders," the former president said, adding that the government's move was about diverting attention from the non-paper, the discussion about which could not be concluded in such a way.

"I said about the non-paper in an interview with a Bosnian TV station ... that the prime minister of my country denies this and if he says so, then we probably should believe this," Kučan added.

Pahor, who currently serves his second term as the president of the republic, also took issue with the government declassifying the document, saying that it should have stayed confidential.

"This report is not intended for public, but for political decision-makers and I think that it should have remained such," he told the press as he visited the Muslim Cultural Centre in Ljubljana today.

The president noted that it was a document with a title, date and signatory, and that he had asked Kučan to compile it as it had been expected from Slovenia in a debate on Bosnia to have "special knowledge given its experience about the topic."

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