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Russian Envoy Postpones Srebrenica Visit After Dispute With Mayor

The Russian ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Petr Ivancov

The Russian ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina has indefinitely postponed a visit to Srebrenica after a local official turned down his request to visit the memorial complex where the victims of the 1995 massacre are buried.

Ambassador Petr Ivancov was set to visit Srebrenica and meet with local authorities on June 26, but he canceled the visit after the town’s Muslim Bosniak deputy mayor, Nermin Alivukovic, turned down his request to visit the memorial center.

Alivukovic told the FENA news agency that he couldn’t “allow anyone who denies the genocide in Srebrenica” to visit the memorial center in Potocari.

“We know very well what Russia’s position on this issue is. It’s the position they put forward at the United Nations, putting a veto on the resolution on the Srebrenica genocide,” he also said.

The Russian Embassy in Sarajevo issued a brief statement that the visit had been postponed but did not provide details.

Some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian-Serb forces who overran the town of Srebrenica in July 1995, during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. It was the worst act of genocide in Europe since the end of World War II.

In July 2015, Russia, a longtime ally of Serbia, vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have described the killings as genocide.

More than 6,500 victims have been buried so far at the Potocari cemetery.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Balkan Insight
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