Bosnia’s Serb-dominated semi-autonomous part, Republika Srpska (RS), is fully prepared for secession from Bosnia and all it takes for it to happen is a parliament decision, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who is now the Chairman of the country's tripartite Presidency, told N1 in an interview on Wednesday.
The threat came after the leading Bosniak party, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), announced it would ask the Constitutional Court whether the name of Republika Srpska is in line with the Constitution, arguing that it excludes other ethnic groups living on its territory.
If the RS entity name is challenged before the Constitutional Court, it will initiate the decomposition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dodik says
The Bosnian Serb leader said he distrusted the Constitutional Court which will “always rules against the RS.”
The Court is composed of nine members, two members per majority ethnic group in the country and three foreign judges. Dodik and his party have been complaining for years that the foreigners tend to side with Bosniaks and “outvote” members from the other two ethnic groups.
“If the SDA wants to do this, I will push for rigorous protection measures in the RS,” Dodik said.
“We have all laws that enable us to take control of the border overnight already written. All we need to do is to schedule a parliament session and we can do this,” said Dodik.
He called upon the country’s Bosniaks and Croats to renegotiate the setup of Bosnia and use the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement as a basis for negotiations as many changes were introduced in Bosnia that violate the agreement.
“The Bosnian Constitution nowhere says that Bosnia is in charge of the judiciary. That was imposed by a High Representative. Two entities never agreed for the judiciary to be at the state level,” he argued.
The Bosnian flag was also something that was imposed by a High Representative, he said.
He assessed that nobody is happy with how the country is set up.
“Today everyone is dissatisfied equally, Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, and even the international community.”
Dodik said he would speak to the Serb representatives on Thursday and that he expected his position to be supported as “this is a thing that unites us all.”
For years Dodik has been announcing the secession of Republika Srpska and that Bosnia was an artificial construct.
He claimed that although he is the Chairman of Bosnia’s Presidency, he uses only his Serbian passport when travelling. “It feels better,” he explained.
Dodik said he feels “uncomfortable” when someone calls him a Bosnian and that his homeland is Republika Srpska.
The pro-Russian Bosnian Serb leader said that he gave Vladimir Putin a pin with an RS flag on it when the Russian President visited Serbia last week to meet with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and him.
“I saw him (Putin) five hours later and he was still wearing it, I was proud,” he said.
“Putin says I’m a good guy, while the Americans say that I am a bad guy,” he added.
But “Putin is not my mentor in any sense,” he stated. “He is the president of a friendly country, and I share some of his views.”
He expressed gratitude to the Russian President for Moscow vetoing a British-initiated Resolution that would have condemned the genocide committed in Srebrenica in the UN Security Council in 2015.
Dodik has said many times throughout the years that he does not believe a genocide was committed there, and that the idea that it was is Bosniak propaganda.
“We have different views in regard to history. I don’t dispute the right of Bosniaks to look at history in a certain way,” he said. “Russia blocked the Resolution on Genocide in the UN Security Council and I thank them for that. Thank you Putin,” he said, adding that the British initiative “insulted Serbs.”