European Western Balkans

Dodik after the meeting with Putin: Russia forced into “military operation”

Photo: Twitter / Milorad Dodik

MOSCOW – The President of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday. Dodik said that Republika Srpska remains adamant in its position not to follow a “one-sided policy”. 

“I think that the Russian Federation, which persistently fought for its security framework and tried to provide these guarantees before, was simply forced when it comes to this military operation”, Dodik said, noting the RS understands that this is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but a conflict between the West and Russia. 

He pointed out that Republika Srpska is exposed to many pressures. 

“We did not allow a formal decision to be made on sanctions against the Russian Federation, and because of that, we were exposed to various forms of pressure from our Western partners in the form of sanctions and suspension of certain projects and programs. But we have decided not to be a part of the hysteria that is being created”, Dodik said. 

Dodik called countries that impose sanctions on Russia “hostile”, with accusations and harsh rhetoric against the US Embassy in Sarajevo. Dodik called US Ambassador Michael Murphy “anti-Serb”. He said that Murphy’s goal is to “destroy the RS by the end of his mandate”. 

After the meeting with Putin, Dodik said that the Russian President told him that the “Dayton Agreement was destroyed by those who promote rules in the world, not international law”. 

According to Radio Television of Republika Srpska (RTRS), Putin was “grateful for the RS’ neutral attitude towards the issue of Ukraine and for the support of Russian culture”. He confirmed that “the economic cooperation between Russia and RS will continue”. 

This was Dodik’s third meeting with Putin since the start of the Russian aggression on Ukraine in February 2022 and their ninth conversation since 2014. Brussels and Washington have already reacted to his departure to Moscow. 

EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said last week in Sarajevo that the EU needs allies in the war between Russia and Ukraine, adding that the EU’s partners are not going to Moscow. US embassy stated before Dodik’s visit that “no government, at any level, should expand cooperation with Russia while it continues its aggression against Ukraine”.

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