Senior Bosnian Serb officials on Thursday strongly responded to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's claim that Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik is acting like Vladimir Putin and establishing an autocratic rule in the Bosnian Serb entity.
Dodik has been under US sanctions since 2017 because he is considered a threat to the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and has been involved in corruption, as well as under UK sanctions since last year. The UK has also barred BiH Presidency chair Zeljka Cvijanovic from entering the country.
The RS government last week decided, on Dodik's orders, that all entity officials would stop communicating with US Ambassador Michael Murphy and UK Ambassador Julian Reilly, whom Dodik accuses of meddling in BiH's internal affairs.
Blinken told Dodik on Twitter yesterday that Murphy was implementing the US policy, indirectly warning that suspending communication with him is an insult to Washington.
Blinken said Dodik was acting like the Russian president and that by imposing laws against press freedoms, NGOs and the LGBTIQ community, he was crushing human rights and freedoms.
Cvijanovic responded by saying that Blinken does not know what is happening in BiH and that he is stating incorrect information and qualifications about Dodik. She described the US policy on BiH as superficial.
“The unbalanced approach of US officials to BiH, as demonstrated also by Blinken, is part of the problem, not the solution for this country,” she told RS media, adding that “domestic and foreign usurpers” are responsible for the problems in BiH, not Dodik.
After the RS government decided to suspend communication with the US and UK embassies, local media recalled that the US has provided the entity with over US$ 600 million worth of assistance to date.
“It would have been better if they hadn't given even a dollar and meddled so much and in this way. I wonder if those $638 million include the depleted uranium they sent us from the sky,” Dodik said on Twitter today, alluding to NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb troops that led to the end of the war in BiH.
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