Dodik: Russia's activities in Ukraine are justified

NEWS 19.09.2022 13:04
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Source: N1

In an interview for the Russian news agency Tass, the Bosnian Serb member of BiH’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, strongly criticized the West, arguing that Russia’s activities in Ukraine are justified and comparing the situation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying “we cannot have joint schools, joint textbooks with Muslims.”

Dodik is set to meet with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday. He stated that he will discuss a number of current political issues with Putin, including the situation in Ukraine.

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“Regarding specific projects, we would like to receive additional confirmation that the focus and priority will be on all economic activities related to the refinery for the processing of oil and fuel oil, the construction of gas pipelines, and gas power plants. Of course, we will wait for the moment, and as soon as it appears, we will start working on those projects,” Dodik added.

Dodik noted that Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, where he is the leader of the ruling party, is not a big consumer of gas like Serbia, but that the issue of gas supply is very important for it.

“We want to build a gas pipeline to Banja Luka, to build power plants that would use gas. In that case, the RS would become a major gas consumer. We base those plans on Russia's potential and our cooperation with Gazprom,” he said.

Dodik stressed that “Bosniaks, who are oriented towards the West, are preventing this,” adding that Bosniak representatives tend to vote down opportunities for the RS to solve the issue of the flow of gas from Serbia through the BiH border.

However, he said that “they cannot do this forever, because the work will continue on that”.

Dodik said that the RS is grateful to Putin for its consistency in preserving the Dayton Peace Agreement, stressing that Russia never had any political demands from him.

He said the RS wants to expand cultural cooperation with Russia, stating that the construction of a Russian-Serbian Orthodox centre is underway in Banja Luka, which he hopes will be completed in the near future, and that he will propose to Putin to visit Banja Luka when it is completed.

He also said that “foreigners with their insolent behaviour and violence” led to the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there is little trust in the EU in BiH.

“Moscow has always been on the side of international law, but it is obvious that this is not enough. The West does not adhere to international norms, for example, in Ukraine, and some of its rules that are constantly changing,” he said.

Asked about his views on the possibility of a referendum on the secession of the RS from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dodik said that the RS remains in the position it is but that it is even more dissatisfied with Bosnia and Herzegovina. He said the idea is to wait for the appropriate moment.

Commenting on the statements from Banja Luka and Belgrade in recent months about a unification of all Serbs into one state in the future, Dodik said that nothing can change the idea of unity, but that the West, “brazenly interferes in internal affairs” and tried to prevent it.

“Our aspiration towards Serbia is natural. The situation is similar with the Russians in Ukraine, of whom there are 15 million in that country and for whom the Russian language has been banned by the leadership of that country. That is why Russia's special operation in Ukraine is justified by the protection of the rights of its people,” he said.

He then compared the situation to BiH.

“That's what we have here – we cannot have joint schools, joint textbooks with Muslims,” he said, referring to Bosniaks.

Dodik said that the Americans explained to him in the 1990s why they did not opt for the possibility of national demarcation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“According to them, the creation of a Muslim state on the territory of Europe could not be allowed. And we became collateral damage. If you want us to be on guard here, give us some privileges,” he said.

Dodik said that the West is spending huge money to fight what they call malignant Russian influence in the Balkans, and pointed out that the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on him and the President of the RS, Zeljka Cvijanovic, as part of this effort.

He said that he did not meet with the new UK Ambassador in BiH since he took over the post.

“Why should I meet with the representatives of the country that imposes sanctions just because Dodik doesn't listen to them? What should I talk to them about, why should I give him and his country legitimacy? I don't think anything good of those Western ambassadors who think they can run the countries where they were appointed to that position,” he said.

He added that American sanctions were also introduced against him and that the West, due to its helplessness, is trying to solve issues with other nations and through such means.

Dodik argued that now Europe is trembling and suffering under sanctions, not Russia, and pointed out that the current political elite in Europe is not used to problems and does not know how to react to them, that they have never lived in an unstable society and are disconnected from the people.

He said the people of the RS perceive Russians as brothers, that they understand Russia's position, rejoice in its successes and worry about its problems.

“We understand very well that the West's fight against Orthodoxy has never stopped. That fight was the motive of all the campaigns and had essentially a single goal – to take control of the rich supply of natural resources that Russia has. It is for this reason that Napoleon and Hitler came to Russia, and today's West also wants to dominate those expenses,” he said.

According to Dodik, the West, with the help of Gorbachev, brought Russia to its knees and intended to rule over it, but did not count on Putin to lift it up and unite it.
He said that Russia was forced to carry out a special operation in Ukraine because for years the West did not react to the destruction of the Russian population in Donbas and Lugansk.

When asked what are the prospects for BiH's accession to NATO, Dodik answered that it will not happen as the RS will not allow it. He stated that Serbia is not in favour of NATO membership either, since the alliance bombarded the Serbs with depleted uranium twice.

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