Dodik: RS is against joining NATO, the US should get used to it

NEWS 10.01.2019 17:38
Source: N1

Bosnia's Serb majority region has firmly decided against joining NATO, the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency said on Thursday referring to a letter which US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo wrote to the country's three Presidency urging it to adopt the annual national programme for cooperation with Alliance.

“We respect NATO,” Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said, adding that Bosnia’s cooperates with the Alliance as part of the Partnership for Peace programme. “But this is something completely different,” he said, adding that mentioning any previous decision regarding today’s cooperation between Bosnia and NATO is “complete confusion.”

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“In any case, there will be no decision on accession because of the reasons we have explained earlier. Republika Srpska and the Serb people cannot accept membership in that Alliance mainly because we were bombarded by NATO and they have caused us huge losses,” Dodik said.

Most Serbian and Bosnian Serb politicians dislike NATO since the alliance’s bombing of Bosnian Serb artillery positions during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war and its airstrikes on Serbia during the 1999 Kosovo conflict.

Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb-dominated semi-autonomous entity within Bosnia, has in 2017 adopted a Resolution on Military Neutrality.

Before he took over the office in the Presidency, Dodik has for years been wither Prime Minister or President of the RS, and his Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) is still the ruling party in the entity.

In his letter, Pompeo pointed out that Bosnia’s wish to join the Alliance was clearly stated in a Foreign Policy Strategy which former Serb Presidency member Mladen Ivanic adopted.

But Dodik said that the government commission which is discussing cooperation with NATO has not completed its job, and that the Foreign Policy Strategy which Pompeo mentioned is not binding.

“I think they should get used to our definitive stance. Republika Srpska is for military neutrality and against entering any alliance,” Dodik concluded.