Serbia will continue backing RS, will demand OHR regular reports

NEWS 02.06.2021 13:58
Source: Tanjug/Rade Prelić

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's President, said on Wednesday that Belgrade would, for the first time, demand regular reports from the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina in line with the Dayton Agreement, adding his country would continue supporting Republika Srpska (RS), the Serb entity in BH, respecting the whole country.

After meeting the top RS officials in Belgrade, Vucic said it was dangerous to play with the ‘Bonn Powers’ of the High Representative in Bosnia Herzegovina, to impose a legal and constitutional solution without the consent of all three nations and to ignore the Dayton Peace Agreement.

„We discussed all relevant issues. These are not easy days for the Serb people,“ Vucic told reporters, adding he informed the RS officials about the situation regarding Kosovo.

„It seems allowed to say anything against Serbia and its people without any reaction even when (Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin) Kurti openly says he won’t form the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) despite it has been signed,“ Vucic said.

„If he (Kurti) thinks we accept Republik Kosova and doesn’t want to talks about CSM, he doesn’t have to come and they don’t have to invite me,“ Vucic said about the Belgrade – Pristina meeting due in Brussels later this month.

As far as RS was concerned, he told reporters he listened to its officials and their ideas and added that what Serbia could do was to stand by RS, respecting the BH integrity and the RS integrity within BH. „We will always help RS,“ he promised.

Vucic announced that all BH citizens could get vaccinated across Serbia „when and where they want“ for free as of Thursday.

Besides, Vucic recalled that Serbia’s former President Milan Milutinovic signed the rule obliging the High Representative to submit regular reports to all sides involved in the Dayton Agreement and that Belgrade would start demanding them regularly.

The meeting followed a letter by RS President Zeljka Svijanovic to Vucic requesting it to discuss the „controversial appointment of the High Representative to BiH „Christian Schmidt, who was appointed by the Peace Implementation Council contrary to the Russian opinion who voted against his position.

Vucic, however, said only that he knew Schmidt as a very experienced politician, adding that his elections should be confirmed by the UN Security Council.

„Serbia won’t back the implementation of the Bonn Powers, which someone would use to create a political situation in RS. We are small, we cannot influence world powers, but we will do what we can, in line with international legal norms,“ Vucic said.

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the Bosnian tripartite Presidency, said the RS would not accept the nomination of the new High Representative without a UN Security Council’s Resolution confirming his election.

„Without that, the naming of the High Representative is against RS and the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina,“ Dodik said after meeting Vucic.

He reiterated the RS’s view that the Office of High Representative (OHR) should be closed in Bosnia.

„We don’t want problems, dramatisation, but only the implementation of the Constitution. We’re not anti-Dayton side, anti-constitution side, we demand the respect of the international law and the BH Constitution,“ Dodik said.

He recalled that a UN Security Council resolution should confirm the election of the High Representative. „Without it, there is no legitimacy.“