The Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, is organizing a celebration of Republika Srpska Day, 9 January, just few days after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklisted him along with other senior officials in Bosnian and Herzegovina.
Dodik has invited many guests to celebrate Srpska Republic Day, 9 January, despite that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Hercegovina declared it unconstitutional. He continues to ignore this verdict, in spite of continues criticism by the international community.
Surprisingly, two right-wing members of the European Parliament are attending the celebration. Thierry Mariani and Herve Juvin announced on social media that they are already in Banja Luka, “the capital of Srpska Republic,” to attend the celebrations.
“Personally invited by President Milorad Dodik, we will take part in the ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of Republika Srpska,” tweeted Thierry Mariani, an MEP and member of the right-wing party led by Marie le Pen.
Juvin went even further and made unprecedented comment on political terms, by describing Kosovo as part of Serbia, and on alleged Christians persecution in the region. “In Europe, in 2022, Christians are being persecuted on European soil. A special thought for the Serbs of #Kosovo’s #Serbia,” he wrote on twitter.
Joyeux Noël à tous les Orthodoxes
— Hervé Juvin (@HerveJuvin) January 7, 2022
In addition to two French MEPs, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and the Speaker of the Serbian Assembly, Ivica Dacic, will attend the celebrations. Many other personalities are also invited, including the Russian and Chinese ambassadors to Sarajevo.
Republika Srpska is an entity which, under the Dayton Agreement, administers almost half of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbian Ultranationalist President, Milorad Dodik, has repeatedly called for the partition of this part from Sarajevo to join Serbia, even by mentioning the war option. However, in early November he changed the rhetoric following the visit of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar to Sarajevo.
“Both he and I believe that the topic of war has no real basis,” Dodik then said.