BiH tripartite Presidency member Milorad Dodik said that if foreign countries impose sanctions or stop investments in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity over its initiative to unilaterally withdraw from state institutions, the RS is prepared to respond with “countermeasures.”
“Maybe some will try to make fun of what I’m saying, but Republika Srpska is not without countermeasures either. If Germany imposes sanctions, we will retaliate,” Dodik told Politika.
He noted that he is well aware of “what America and Germany are” but said his message to them is “you overreacted.”
“You did everything to make us hate BiH, and we never loved it,” Dodik said.
He rejected allegations that the citizens or the entire Republika Srpska could face problems because of his political activities, arguing that he is not worried and neither should citizens be.
Dodik said that he understands the fear of sanctions among the people, but that this will not happen and that Republika Srpska “has its friends who have invested in it so far and it will not lose those investments.”
Dodik again rejected the authority of the High Representative Christian Schmidt, who is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia.
He announced that the RS entity will withdraw all the funds it contributes to BiH state institutions, which he said was about 130 million Bosnian Marks, and will redistribute it within the entity.
He stressed that defence, the fiscal system and the judiciary are not defined in the Dayton Agreement as state-level competencies and that the RS will not agree to anything other than what is specifically stated in the agreement.
One of the primary issues that must be resolved is state property, Dodik said, arguing that Bosnia’s Constitutional Court, which ruled that certain RS laws on forests and agricultural land are unconstitutional, does not have the right to decide on the issue.
The Constitutional Court ruled that forests and agricultural land located in the RS are BiH state property and upheld a ban on the entity using the land without consent from the state. Dodik, however, argues that such land is the property of the RS.
He also reiterated announcements that the RS will form its own, separate judicial bodies and that those of the state will not have jurisdiction in the entity.