Dodik claims he and Putin agreed on ‘almost all matters’ during one-hour meeting

NEWS 04.12.2021 15:07
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Source: N1

Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency Milorad Dodik said upon his return from Moscow that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on “almost all matters” and that Putin does not support “any sort of adventurism.”

“Putin is in favour of saving the territorial integrity and the Dayton agreement,” said Dodik, referring to the peace deal which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war and defined Bosnia's constitutional order.

The meeting comes amid political tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina that emerged after Dodik announced that Bosnia's Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska would withdraw from the major state-level institutions, which many local and international actors assessed as steps towards the entity's secession. Dodik made the announcement after international peace envoy in BiH, whose presence Dodik's strongly objects, imposed law changes on banning the genocide denial and glorification of war criminals.

He did not recognise the international envoy, officially the High Representative, German Christian Schmidt who took office in August this year, replacing Austrian Valentin Inzko.

According to Dodik, he and Russian president talked for nearly an hour, and among the topics they discussed were investments, gas supply, economy as well as the construction of a Serb-Russian monastery.

“We spent the most of the time on political issues. Russia witnessed the signing of the Dayton agreement and has an intention to preserve the Dayton peace agreement, and is demonstrating it in every possible way,” Dodik told a press conference and warned about the attempts to “desecrate” the Dayton agreement and Bosnia's Constitution, while putting the blame on Republika Srpska.

The Serb leader said he was “impressed” by Putin's knowledge of the situation and that the Russian president told him Russia would not support the appointment of the High Representative at the UN Security Council.

“The issues should be resolved by local actors and not someone from outside. Russia is not interfering with internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina the way the others are doing that,” he stressed.

If he had to summarise the meeting with Putin in one sentence, Dodik noted,  he would say  that the Russian Federation supports everything that is in line with the international law.

Asked by N1 reporter why no photography was issued from Moscow's meeting, Dodik replied that this is a question for the Russian president's press office.

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