The Bosnian Serb member of BiH’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said he will ask Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, to approve the extension of the mandate of the European Union’s military deployment in BiH at the UN Security Council session in November.
Milorad Dodik, who is also the leader of the ruling party in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, is set to meet with Putin in Russia on September 20.
He argued that in order to avoid discussions on whether NATO should increase its presence in BiH, extending EUFOR’s mandate is the best option.
Dodik said the most important topic they will discuss is the energy sector.
“We are very interested in building this gas pipeline / from Serbia to RS. Russia has approved that project, but we have a deadlock in terms of decision-making at the BiH level, and that represents an obstacle,” Dodik said.
He complained that officials in Sarajevo are blocking this process because they perceive it “in an unproductive and bad way.”
“They expect to get gas from the Russians, but to prevent everything that Russia wants to do, with us or with them,” he said.
Dodik stressed that Russia is a proven friend of the RS.
“The exclusiveness we see in the West based on “either you are for Russia or you are for us” should absolutely be rejected because we have to cooperate with everyone who wants to cooperate with us,” he said.