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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia May Raise Croat Action at UN

Russia might ask the UN Security Council to halt Croat military action against the Serbs in western Bosnia, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

"Moscow is closely monitoring the development of the situation in western Bosnia and, if it continues to deteriorate, Russia intends to bring into action the Security Council," Mikhail Demurin told Itar-Tass.

A Croat offensive through a big swathe of territory including two towns has forced rebel Croatian Serbs to rein in their attack on the western Bosnian enclave of Bihac and could shift the balance after four years of Serb gains in Croatia and Bosnia.

Demurin said Moscow would try to exert a restraining influence on Croatia through diplomatic contacts, leaving an appeal to the UN as an ultimate option.

Interfax quoted a Russian diplomat in Zagreb as saying concern had been expressed to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman.

The action was undertaken "to warn Tudjman about the possible grave consequences of escalating the Bosnian conflict and Croatia's participation in the conflict," the unnamed diplomat told Interfax.

Russia, a traditional ally of the Serbs, has condemned threats of military action against Bosnian Serbs, saying this would only widen the conflict.