Dodik: Putin told me Serbs can count on Russia’s friendship

NEWS 26.09.2022 22:53
milorad dodik
Source: Tanjug/AP/Darko Vojinovic, File

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) tripartite Presidency who met last week in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the Russian President told him that he appreciates Serbia’s and Republika Srpska’s position on sanctions against Russia, that he often talks to Serbian President Alekssandar Vucic and that he will maintain the best possible relations.

“Russia is a big country, but it does not forget its friends, and Serbs can count of Russia’s traditional friendship,” Dodik told the Serbian state TV (RTS).

Dodik said the Russian President told him that he fails to see the rationality in Europe’s behavior and choices, or in its refusal to hear Russia out.

Asked if Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb-dominated entity in BiH, could find itself in a difficult situation because it openly supports Putin, Dodik said that he “clearly said he is against the war” but that he was convinced that Russia was forced to take the steps that it took.

It is a big players’ game that I cannot influence, said Dodik. “In BiH we have the West, Brussels, Washington, who are constantly against the RS and the Serb people. I could not have acted differently, but if I had, what would we have gained? We would have lost Russia’s alliance, and we wouldn’t have gotten anyone on our side,” said Dodik.

Commenting Serbia’s position, Dodik said Serbia has advanced much further on the European path and that it has much more investments, and described Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic as “a serious statesman who pursues a balanced policy and one in Serbia’s interest.”

„I believe that policy is rational, moderate and corresponds to the interests of Serbia,” said Dodik.