BH Serb President: Kosovo and RS should not be compared

NEWS 26.08.2018 13:18
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Source: PIXSELL/Samir Yordamoviç

Kosovo and Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part, should not be compared because this would make it appear as if Serbia would be “renouncing” one of the two, according to the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Mladen Ivanic.

If Serbia insists that Kosovo is part of it, then it should not insist that Republika Srpska can be part of it too, he explained.

Ivanic told Serbia’s Politika newspaper that he is aware that 90 percent of the people in Bosnia’s RS semi-autonomous entity want it to be independent, but what is realistic and what could be risky must be taken into account.

“We do not have strong friends that could help turn the wish for independence into action. Who would support us?” he said, explaining that, while “Serbia loves Republika Srpska”, Serbia’s leadership clearly said they will do “nothing that goes against the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina” as defined in the Dayton Peace Agreement.

“Russia also firmly said it stands behind the Dayton (agreement),” he said.

“As for Kosovo, I believe that Serbia will manage to show that the only long-term solution to the Kosovo problem is one that allows Serbia to save face,” Ivanic said.

Asked whether he was referring to the attitude of the international community toward the Serbs in Republika Srpska and the Albanians in Kosovo, Ivanic asked how long the Albanians had an autonomous region, adding that Serbs in Republika Srpska only had it for “twenty and something years.”

“If something is realistic today, that does not mean it will stay that way in the future,” Ivanic said, adding that, should Bosniaks not realise that Serbs need to feel comfortable in Bosnia and see their interest in that country, “tensions and conflicts will not disappear.”

Ivanic said the RS does not have problems with the international community, but that RS President Milorad Dodik does “on a personal basis.”