World

EU official says Bosnia is willing to join the bloc, despite Russia's objections

  • Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission attends a press conference in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)

    Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission attends a press conference in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Johannes Hahn  European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)

    Johannes Hahn European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Federica Mogherini, second left, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission and Johannes Hahn, center, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations pose for the media with Mladen Ivanic, left, Serb member and chairman of Bosnian tripartite Presidency, Dragan Covic, second right, Croatian member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency and Bakir Izetbegovic, Muslim member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)

    Federica Mogherini, second left, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission and Johannes Hahn, center, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations pose for the media with Mladen Ivanic, left, Serb member and chairman of Bosnian tripartite Presidency, Dragan Covic, second right, Croatian member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency and Bakir Izetbegovic, Muslim member of Bosnian tripartite Presidency in Sarajevo on Friday Dec. 5, 2014. Federica Mogherini accompanied by Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is on a one day visit to Bosnia to discuss reforms in Bosnia for EU integration. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union has urged Russia to leave the Balkans out of its dispute with the bloc over Ukraine, and to let the region proceed on its path toward EU and NATO memberships.

Moscow has said that because of its strained relations with the West, it no longer supports Bosnia's membership efforts and that there is no consensus in Bosnia over the issue.

The country's Bosniacs and Croats tend to look westward, but Bosnian Serbs maintain close ties with Russia, object NATO membership and have obstructed EU-requested reforms.

After meeting with Bosnia's leaders Friday, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's chief foreign affairs official, said she believes they all are now prepared to continue with the reforms and that Russia's disputes with the EU should not interfere with this process.