According to analysts, the move of BiH Presidency member, Milorad Dodik, who announced that he would soon meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and then with Vladimir Putin personally, is extremely risky for BiH.
Dodik announced the meetings on Saturday, saying he will meet with Lavrov on Tuesday in Belgrade and then with Putin in Russia on June 17.
According to political analyst Tanja Topic, Dodik has “chosen a side”, despite his frequent statements that BiH should stay neutral regarding the “confrontation of great powers”.
She argued that Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, has until now supported Russia and Putin silently, but “now he does it loudly and publicly.”
“I think that can do more harm than good in these geopolitical relations. I am afraid that there will be problems, which will fall primarily on the backs of Republika Srpska and its citizens,” said Topic.
Economist and diplomat Drasko Acimovic also strongly criticised Dodik's activities, arguing that they prove that “he has clearly decided that he wants Bosnia and Herzegovina to join a group that includes South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Lugansk and the Donetsk Republic.”
Acimovic posed the question of whether this would mean that the recruitment of the population for the war in Ukraine would begin in BiH as well, as people are already being recruited from those regions.
Dodik's moves raise many questions and the announced meetings could completely distance BiH from Europe, Acimovic said.
“If Dodik meets with the highest Russian officials in the capacity of a member of the Presidency of BiH, in that way BiH would renounce Europe and everything that would follow should no longer be a surprise for the citizens,” he said.
According to Acimovic, Dodik could lead the citizens of the entire country into the biggest crisis after the war.