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NATO is concerned about "separatist rhetoric" in Bosnia as well as foreign interference, including by Russia. This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, quoted by Reuters.

"We are concerned about separatist and divisive rhetoric, as well as foreign interference, including by Russia," he said in Sarajevo, the first stop during his tour of the Western Balkans.

Stoltenberg's statement was linked to repeated statements by Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik that the autonomous Republika Srpska would work to secede and join the neighbouring country and its ally Serbia.

"It undermines stability and impedes reforms," he said, adding that all political leaders should work to preserve unity, build national institutions and achieve reconciliation.

Nearly three decades after the devastating 1992-1995 war that claimed 100,000 lives, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains divided, its economy stagnating and people are fleeing the country en masse.

NATO has warned of risks for Bosnia from external interference, especially from Russia.

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"The alliance remains committed to supporting Bosnia's Euro-Atlantic path, each country has the right to choose its security arrangements without foreign interference," Stoltenberg said after meeting with Bosnian Council of Ministers President Boryana Christo.

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