Milorad Dodik is Croatia's interlocutor and should not be subjected to sanctions, while Bakir Izetbegovic "is buying time" so that elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be held under the election system which discriminates against Croats, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday.
“Dodik is not an ethnic nationalist, he's not a chauvinist, doesn't spread ethnic hatred,” he told the press about the Serb member of the BiH Presidency. “He is an interlocutor.”
Milanovic said he was against the EU imposing sanctions against Dodik like the US did. “If someone from Croatia votes for those sanctions, for me they will be a traitor. Then I will represent Croatia in the European Council.”
As for Izetbegovic, leader of the largest Bosniak party in BiH, Milanovic called him “a time thief” holding a dialogue with Croatian representatives and then not honouring what had been agreed.
“Time is passing, the election is coming and will be held under totally untenable rules,” he said of a general election BiH is due to hold in October.
“The Croats will be robbed” unless the electoral system is changed to prevent the Bosniaks from electing Croat representatives in the highest state bodies again, he added.
Milanovic again commented on the 9 January observance of the Bosnian Serb entity's day, reiterating that it's “a bad date” as horrible crimes were committed after it on the territory of the present-day entity called Republika Srpska.
“That will haunt them as a dark shadow,” he said, calling the choice of that date “politically not smart.”
“Republika Srpska was supposed to be militarily destroyed in mid-October 1995 when the Croatian army, only because it was told so, did not enter Banja Luka,” Milanovic said, adding that the entity was established under the Dayton peace agreement signed later that year, including by Croatia's then president Franjo Tudjman. “I accept that, that's all.”