The President of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part dismissed a reaction from the US Embassy in Sarajevo to his claims that the US is meddling in Bosnia’s internal affairs as an Obama-era policy which has nothing to do with that of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Criticising a recent agreement between Bosnia’s central government and USAID on the distribution of eight million US dollars (cca EUR 6.9 million) on various projects, the President of Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia's Serb-dominated semi-autonomous entity, Milorad Dodik, said on Tuesday that such projects are aimed at “meddling in internal affairs of the state” and said his government will launch an investigation into who was receiving those funds and how they are spent.
The Embassy said on Wednesday that Dodik’s “fabrications” are “simply untrue” and that “false accusations against a project that aims to counter public corruption should raise questions about his commitment to transparent, effective governance as well as his personal motives, given recent reporting about the extent of his real estate holdings and other assets.”
Dodik reacted the same day.
“This has nothing to do with America,” he told reporters in the northern town of Derventa, saying that US Ambassador Maureen Cormack has always made statements to justify her interference in internal state issues.
Dodik said that the USAID funds “always came here through programmes by (George) Soros,” and that the same thing is happening now.
“Most often those being financed are various, so-called, media that are trying to portray the situation worse than it really is and some individuals are being financed to create and provide various information here. I don’t know what they said, but I can only say ‘have a nice trip’ to this ambassador one day, while I will stay what I am here and be even more than that,” Dodik said.
“My property is available, it is can be seen. It is always the same topic that is put forward ahead of an election. Always just Milorad Dodik, and what about Mirko Sarovic, Mladen Ivanic or any other politician?” Dodik asked.
Mirko Sarovic is Bosnia’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, and Mladen Ivanic is the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency. Both are members of parties that are in fierce opposition to Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD).
Dodik said that he has not expanded his property within the past four years.
“I was a richer person than I am now,” he said.
“I know perfectly well what America is and I respect it, but I don’t respect their people who often create more evil here than good, and she (US Ambassador Cormack) is one of them,” Dodik said.
Dodik said that the US Ambassador “is only sitting in Sarajevo so her salary is raised when she returns to the US.”
“What good did she do? Is there even one project that she has completed well? Is Bosnia working better? No! What happened? Is there anything that can be registered, nothing, just interference, setups, the creation of negative developments, that is what she did here,” Dodik said.
This is, according to the RS President, the continuation of a practice “in which USAID is together with Soros’s agency here on the ground trying to shape politics.”
Dodik said he has come across information that Cormack will leave Bosnia just after the October 7 general election in the country.
“She wants to stay here so she can create as much discord as possible,” he said.