US officials should “stop their blind support for Bosniak political goals” and their threats against Serbs and be more objective regarding issues in Bosnia, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on Saturday, responding to recent statements by US Department of State official, Matthew Palmer.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US Department of State – Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told Voice of America on Friday that the position Dodik and the parliament of Bosnia’s Serb-majority semi-autonomous entity of Republika Srpska (RS) have taken regarding possible secession of the entity from the country is illegal, unconstitutional and dangerous.
Palmer pointed out that Dodik is already under US sanctions because of his actions which were “inconsistent” and “incompatible” with the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended Bosnia’s war and contains the country’s Constitution.
“Anybody who aligns themselves with positions that are anti-Dayton (Agreement) runs the risk of triggering this kind of response from the United States,” Palmer said.
Dodik said on Saturday that “several hundred Serbs” were punished, disciplined and removed from office since the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed and that the problem in Bosnia has still not disappeared.
“Neither Serbs nor Republika Srpska disappeared, as some wanted it to happen, nor did our need to live as all other normal people do,” he said, arguing that Bosnia is “captured by maximalist Bosniak politicians who are supported uncritically by international officials.”
“Instead of using their energy and will for seeking a solution for everyone, not only for Bosniaks, US officials have been threatening and intimidating Serbs for 25 years, regardless of which political option they belonged to,” he said.
Dodik argued that Serbs in Republika Srpska have “gotten used to taking a beating and it doesn’t hurt them anymore” and that it would be good if everyone came to understand that and changed their approach to the problem.
“We are not asking for anything that doesn’t belong to us according to the Dayton Agreement and we want nothing that would damage anyone else in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
Republika Srpska will continue to fight for its rights through peaceful means regardless of what international officials have to say about it, he said.
“We call upon them once again to stop their blind support to Bosniak political goals, to stop threatening and intimidating, to finally take an objective stance and face the depth of the problem in Bosnia which they have, consciously or unconsciously, been supporting,” Dodik said.
“And they should seriously understand that we will not leave, nor will we give away our land,” he said.