Prominent Russian Journalist Alina Arsenieva of FAN News Interviewed Bosnian Serb Leader Milorad Dodik
The scandalous anti-Serb decision of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, to criminalize denial of the “genocide” in Srebrenica, which has never been proven , plunged the already dysfunctional Bosnia and Herzegovina into the deepest internal political crisis since the signing of the Dayton Accords. In retaliation, Banja Luka has criminalized those who call the Serbs or the Republika Srpska a “genocidal” people or country. (a similar stigma is popular among the Boshnyaks).
Milorad Dodik, the most authoritative and charismatic politician in the Republika Srpska, the Serb representative in the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who previously served as President of the Republika Srpska (and before that – the Prime Minister), in an exclusive interview with the special correspondent of the international edition of the Federal News Agency in the Balkans, spoke about the plans of the West on the unitarization of BiH and the liquidation of the Republika Srpska.
It is for this purpose that the representatives of the Western countries are trying to blame the Serbian entity for the “genocide” in Srebrenica, and also do not abandon their attempts to implement the repeatedly tested scenario of the “color revolution”. Dodik also expressed gratitude to the Russian Federation for understanding the position of the Serbs in BIH and hope for continued fruitful cooperation, including in the economic sphere.
- Alina Arsenieva: What is behind the ultimatum imposition of recognition of the “genocide” in Srebrenica on all governments in the region by Western diplomats? Is this preparing the ground for the elimination of Republika Srpska? And how do you assess the adoption of the resolution in Montenegro?
Milorad Dodik: You know, when you listen to all these political assessments, lamentations about “lofty democratic values” and “civilized society” – all these stories suddenly collapse on the example of Montenegro. Where [Deputy Prime Minister Dritan] Abazovich, an Albanian by nationality, and other anti-Serb leaders gathered together to adopt such an act, and then immediately rushed with him to Sarajevo to victoriously proclaim it as something important there. Your question also contains the answer.
And we are fully convinced of this, and we do not trust either the High Representative or the western part of the international community.
Over the past 20 years, they have not received any proposals other than constant demands to punish us. Not a single measure taken here by the High Representative and the West has been in favor of Republika Srpska.
We received some help exclusively in the form of loans. The Republika Srpska, in contrast to the Muslim-Croatian Federation, received little assistance, allegedly because then [the President of the Republika Srpska during the civil war Radovan] Karadzic and [General Ratko] Mladic were at large (despite the demands to extradite them to the International Tribunal. – Note. FAN).
Everything that we used was within the existing financial system in the world – these were the loans that we are now repaying.
That is, they could refuse us a loan – and we would have nothing. In any case, we did not receive any gratuitous assistance, did not receive anything that would oblige us in any way. From all the statements and actions against us for more than 20 years, it logically follows that they lead to depriving the Republic of Srpska of its powers.
There is no need to tell us this directly. The High Representative passed laws exclusively to the detriment of Republika Srpska. None of his laws hurt Muslims – only Serbs.
In addition, out of nine judges in the Constitutional Court, there are three foreigners who do not have BiH citizenship, who in their decisions go beyond the framework of the Constitution. Together with two Muslims, they constitute the majority in this court and impose their decisions. At the same time, the Peace Implementation Council has declared that non-compliance with decisions of the Constitutional Court is a criminal offense (Peace Implementation Council, an international body charged with overseeing the implementation of the Dayton Accords, to its Steering Committee, other than Russia – which opposes anti-Serb decisions and Council reports – includes Great Britain, the USA, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Japan, the EU Council, the European Commission, as well as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, represented by Turkey. – Note FAN).
Thus, we were literally tied hand and foot, leaving us no opportunity. A diktat was imposed on us. Both representatives of the highest state authorities and parliamentarians, despite the fact that they are elected by the people, have become an easy target. If someone suddenly accidentally disagrees with the position of the West, he will immediately be prosecuted: if he cannot be declared a war criminal, he will be declared a criminal corrupt official. And we have been living in such conditions for all 20 years!
2. Alina Arsenieva: Western diplomats, the media, like the High Representative, accuse the Serbs of “genocide” in Srebrenica, basing their accusations on the decisions of the Hague Tribunal. How do you assess the work of this institution? The ICTY recently rejected Ratko Mladic’s appeal, while Nasser Oric (the commander of the Bosnian Muslim forces, a war criminal who ordered the deaths of thousands of Serb civilians – FAN note) was previously released.
Milorad Dodik: Obviously, this is an Inquisition tribunal, with a premeditated plan to condemn all Serbs who held the highest military and political posts during the civil war. Which was done.
And they continue to do so. The opinion of the Chairman of the Judicial Collegium during the consideration of the appeal in the case of Ratko Mladic speaks volumes about how politicized the court is.
She presented her dissenting opinion that all the qualifications of crimes established earlier are incorrect – including the definition of “genocide”. She was the only judge with the right to her opinion. All others are carefully selected judges who implemented the political demands of America and the West: demonize Serbs, limiting their ability in the modern world to build the best possible contact with everyone.
So, Biljana Plavsic (a member of the Serbian collective presidency during the war in Bosnia, since 1996 President of the Republika Srpska. – Note of FAN), who did not offend a fly, as the people say, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. At the same time, Nasser Oric, who killed people with particular cruelty and even cut out his eyes, to which there is evidence not only of Serbs but also of Muslims, walks freely around Sarajevo. This is a signal from the Western, “free” world and proof of the exclusively political motivation for the sentences of the Hague Tribunal.
3. Alina Arsenieva: Taking into account the aggravation of the situation – is it possible in the future to unite with Serbia? Is there a possibility that if the Republika Srpska attempts to secede from BiH, the West or the Bosnians will go to an armed conflict, is there a risk of NATO intervention?
Milorad Dodik: The Boshnyaks have a zeal for revenge, this is undoubted. They cherish the myth that the Serbs need to avenge everything that allegedly happened during the past conflict. However, the story is much more complicated and the facts from the civil war are completely different.
All political decisions that the West has made since 1995 are based on lies promoted by CNN and other Western media. For example, they claimed that the Serbs had killed 300 thousand Boshniks – this became a kind of cliché.
Later, when the facts could be verified, it turned out that a total of 90,000 people were affected in Bosnia and Herzegovina – this is a huge number – and that the number of Serb victims was 30% of that number. This corresponds to the ethnic composition of BiH, in which Serbs make up 33%.
However, no one rejected the atmosphere in which Richard Holbrooke and other Westerners told which Serbs were “criminals” who “raped 60 thousand Muslim women” – which is a lie, and hundreds of such cases have not been proven.
But such media stuffing continued. And when it came to the authorities that made decisions, it naturally seemed logical to punish exclusively the Serbian side. Therefore, we have no reason to believe in the good intentions of the West.
4. Alina Arsenieva: And yet, is it possible to unite with Serbia?
Milorad Dodik: If you go out and ask people, everyone would like us to be part of Serbia. But this is on an emotional level, and political realities are what they are.
If you are asking me as a politician, then I, like the majority of [RS residents], believe that this would be correct and fair. After all, the people, which constitute the absolute majority in these territories, cannot tolerate the bullying of others. And it is absolutely logical that he will rush to his mother state in order to build a joint political and territorial community together with his compatriots. I think this is completely normal.
Some people don’t think so. But I think that no one can resist such tendencies. Germany was striving for unification – and unified after the end of the Cold War and the destruction of the Berlin Wall.
A logical question arises: why the Germans from East and West Germany can unite, but we from the Republika Srpska and Serbia cannot?
What are the criteria if you look globally? How can Germany oppose our unification if she herself has the right to do believes so? They may say they were one country. Just like we were one country. Are there any more arguments?
5. Alina Arsenieva: As you stated earlier, in Banja Luka some Western diplomats are holding meetings with representatives of the opposition and NGOs, and not with the authorities. Can we talk about preparing a “color revolution”, because you are opposed to the dictates of the West? Which countries are most active in this?
Milorad Dodik: Great Britain, America, Germany, and their satellites from the EU and NATO, which adhere to their course. Preparations for the “color revolution” are constantly underway here.
There were attempts to organize protests, which we adequately resisted. We organized protests in the same place, and it became obvious that there are many more people who support Republika Srpska than those who are ready to do something stupid with the help of some performances, as they call it.
They will never give up on such attempts. They used the tragic incident in which a young guy died in Banja Luka (David Dragicevic, the members of the Justice for David movement indiscriminately accuse the Security Service of Milorad Dodik for his murder. – Note by FAN) to inflate a whole series of the false political stuffing out of him, which then circulate around the world as if it were.
Now no one talks about it, but for almost a year the world media have been fixated on one thing – the only news from Banja Luka for them was [protest actions] “Justice for David”. Now the prosecutor’s office of BiH has taken up this case – why, then, has it been investigating it for so long if everything is so obvious? And this case is trying to abuse the British agents, and the other, in order to use it in the public sphere.
In the United States, there is a law according to which anyone who works on American territory in the interests of other states is considered a “foreign agent” (as it really is).
But what will happen if we call foreign agents, for example, some NGOs operating here, which receive state funds and support to overthrow the current government, fueling protest moods – under the guise of tales of “democracy”? If you resist this, you will be accused of violating human rights by those who finance activities aimed at overthrowing the government and destabilizing the situation. Of course, a strong Russia can resist this. Imagine how our little Republika Srpska feels in such circumstances.
6. Alina Arsenieva: What could Russia offer as an alternative to NATO in the region, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina? What are the still untapped opportunities for cooperation between Republika Srpska and the Russian Federation?
Milorad Dodik: There are many opportunities for cooperation. First of all, we are very grateful to the Russian Federation for understanding our position. But I believe there is still room to get to know it even better and to make even more progress in understanding how we could be directly helped.
I support Russia’s policy, which is aimed at strengthening its positions at the global level, in all segments, and on all issues. I believe that Russia does not adhere to a policy of confrontation but resolutely defends its values. Russia does not pursue a policy of expansion, as NATO does – spreading its presence throughout the world. But in any case, Russia has the right to defend some of its positions – for example, in Syria. If it were not for Russia, a monstrous war would still continue there, in which the terrorists of ISIL 1 (a group banned in the Russian Federation) used the most terrible methods of eliminating people.
So, I understand the policy of Russia, which seeks to cooperate with everyone. And I also understand the policy of the West, which is afraid of a strong Russia, and therefore organized a whole series of provocations, as, for example, in Ukraine, and imposed sanctions. The goal of the West is to stop the development of Russia, which has clearly shown the ability to military and technological progress. The West is seriously concerned about a strong Russia. This is perfectly logical. If Russia is constantly being attacked by Europe on its sovereignty, on its way of life, Russia must protect itself and protect itself. I think this is completely legitimate and correct, and the Americans do the same – just let them do it on their own territory.
An American comes to us and says: “We are protecting our way of life.” Why are you protecting him here? How are you defending the American way of life in Banja Luka? Here’s how to understand it? This means that we must destroy our way of life here and accept the American one, which, as we see now, is faced with big problems and it is not yet clear how it will all end.
As for the assistance and support to Russia, we have established good cooperation and excellent mutual understanding. Thanks to this understanding, we support each other in different situations. This time we are together again on the side of strengthening international law. Russia and its president Vladimir Putin insist on respecting the norms of international law, which was confirmed by the last meeting of the UN Security Council. For the fact that others have made the decision to abuse international law – they will one day need to be presented with an invoice. After all, it was Russia and China that demanded respect for international law – unlike others (the UN Security Council did not adopt the Russian-Chinese resolution on the termination of the mandate of the High Representative for BiH. – Note by FAN).
7. Alina Arsenieva: What concrete steps can be taken to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Republika Srpska and Russia?
Milorad Dodik: It is necessary to continue our economic cooperation, to do everything so that our economy is even more closely connected with the Russian one. The Republika Srpska is a very small, if not “meager” economy for Russia, and yet we have something to offer.
It is necessary to think over how we could develop here complementary production, the products of which could be sold in Russia itself. It would be a huge help for us. It is necessary to build a gas pipeline – but this is a global issue, not only ours. In any case, in the near future, there will be many projects in which we will cooperate.
Milorad Dodik is a Bosnian Serb politician serving as the 7th and current Serb member of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the collective federal head of state.
Alina Arsenieva is a renowned Russian Journalist with a focus on Russian and European approaches towards the Post-Soviet Space.
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