Serb Presidency member to approve Russian team's entry to Bosnia

NEWS 04.05.2020 22:27
Source: N1

The Presidency was not supposed to be deciding on Russian military-medical team's entry into Bosnian territory, Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik told N1, commenting on a recent dispute on whether the Russians should disinfect a hospital in the country's southern town or not.

“If this was useful for other countries, such as Italy where they were even more present…. Nobody found it suitable to say they were doing some shady deals and all of a sudden it becomes a political issue now that Mr Covic (Bosnian Croat leader and the House of People's Speaker) asked for detailed disinfection,” said Dodik speaking for N1.

The last Friday, Bosnian authorities banned entry for a Russian military-medical team that was reportedly supposed to perform disinfection of the University Hospital in the southern town of Mostar.

Their presence was requested by Dragan Covic, the Croat leader, who failed to previously consult Bosnia's tripartite Presidency on this matter – the only institution that can send and approve such request.

And the Presidency could not decide on it since the necessary procedures for that to happen were not met, said Bosniak Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic.  

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Explaining the procedures, Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic said the convoy could not be treated as humanitarian, as it contained a detailed list of military-technical resources, names and surnames of the medical team as well as their military ranks.

But, the Serb Presidency member disagreed.

“According to the law, the Presidency was not supposed to be deciding on it, but some gave in. I will vote for meeting the demand of Mr Covic, and I'm not sure what will other two members say,” said Dodik.

He also disagreed with the idea of other two Presidency members that Bosnian Armed Forces were capable of completing the disinfection work.

“As far as I know they have nothing, especially not a special unit,” he added.

Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic and its effects in the country, particularly in Bosnia's Serb-dominated part, Republika Srpska, he said he believed the situation would get better and the state of emergency would be cancelled in that half of the country within the next seven to ten days.

Dodik is the Serb Presidency member elected in the Republika Srpska region and alongside two other members, the Bosniak and Croat, who are elected in the Federation entity, represents the collective head of the state.