The Serbian member of the Bosnia and Hercegovina (BiH) Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said he will travel to Moscow this week to discuss all important issues related to the current political situation in BiH.
The announced visit of Dodik to Moscow comes just few weeks after the visit of the US special envoy for the Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, to Sarajevo. After that meeting, Dodik introduced a radical withdrawal from his earlier approach, retracting his previous threats for the partition of Bosnia and that Republica Srpska will be supported by Russia in case of a war in Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Dodik said he expects an understanding from Moscow in regard to a consistent role of Russia towards BiH, namely to be more active within the Peace Implementation Council.
“That is quite enough as far as we are concerned to strengthen that position and gain additional conviction that Russia is ready to continue with the same policy”, Dodik said.
When it comes to economic cooperation, as a key issue he pointed out the construction of the gas pipeline from Raca, ie Bijeljina to Banja Luka, on which there is an agreement from the time of South Stream with Gazprom to build it jointly.
“Since we are building a highway, it is a good opportunity to follow that route and build a gas pipeline to Banja Luka. The Russians have already confirmed to us that by the end of the year, the price of gas we have will be similar to the one that Serbia has”, said Dodik and added that he will try to get what Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic got for the next few months, until the markets get stabilised.
He mentioned that an between the Government of Republika Srpska and “Gazprom” is next, and reminded of the earlier agreement to build two gas power plants in the northern part of Srpska.
“I want to renew and strengthen that agreement”, Dodik pointed out.
Dodik added that he would also like to have Putin visiting Banja Luka and believes that even in the conditions of a pandemic, an immeasurable mass of people would gather in that city to come and greet him.
“I had an agreement with him before, so I will try to confirm it again. We are building a Serbian-Russian Orthodox center in Banja Luka and a temple that is a literal replica of the temple that existed in Kremlin. Earlier, when that initiative was at an early phase, I asked President Putin that once we get to the consecration of that temple, it would be good for him to be here as well. And he nodded. Well, for that nod, I have to confirm if that will happen. I believe that we will finalize the construction in the next two or three years” said Dodik.
He said he is always happy when he goes to Russia because Putin asks how he can help, and the West immediately starts demanding.
He rejected claims from the West that his initiatives only implement a plan devised in Serbia and Russia, emphasizing that Putin never told him that he should carry out a revolution here, but to support the territorial integrity and constitutional order of BiH, which means two entities and three constituent nations.
Dodik said that he was proud to have a good relationship with Vucic and Putin, Viktor Orban and some other presidents, excellent cooperation with China, and that he can cooperate with people from Croatia and Slovenia.