The European Union sharply criticized the decision of the authorities of Republika Srpska, which is part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to award an order to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Peter Stano, a spokesman for the EU foreign policy service, said this at a briefing in Brussels on January 9.
Dodik awarded Putin with the highest award of the Republika Srpska
As part of the “Republic Day” celebrations, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin the highest award of the Republika Srpska in absentia for “the development and strengthening of friendly relations between Russia and Republika Srpska.”
The condemns the decision of Republika Srpska – Stano
“Now the whole world knows who Putin is. Therefore, the European Union condemns the decision of Republika Srpska and its authorities to award Putin with the Order of Republika Srpska. Putin is the one who is directly responsible for the illegal war against Ukraine. He is the one who gives the orders that cause Ukrainian civilians to be killed and Ukrainian civilian infrastructure to be destroyed. To be on Putin’s side under such conditions means to isolate the Republika Srpska and its authorities in the international arena,” Stano said.
He added that there is no place in the EU for rewarding politicians who order the extermination of a neighboring country and kill its people.
The EU will take measures against Dodik – Stano
The spokesman stressed that if Dodik continues to reward Putin and make unacceptable moves, the EU will take further measures against him.
Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik is considered one of the few politicians to maintain good relations with Putin even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He often relies on Russia and supports its work and actions, especially after the aggression.
Terrorists reward terrorists – Ukrainian Ambassador
Ukrainian Ambassador to Croatia Vasyl Kyrylych reacted on the occasion of the awarding of Putin.
In a post on Twitter, he stated that terrorists reward terrorists.
“Terrorists reward terrorists. Servants reward their masters. Both the former and the latter are ruled by fear. Over time, this fear corrodes both the terrorist and the servant,” Kyrylych wrote on Twitter.
Dodik supported Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories
In October, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Dodik, supported Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories.
Dodik, following the example of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, has still not condemned the Russian invasion and, like most countries in Europe and the world, has not imposed sanctions on that country.
Dodik has been pursuing radical ideas and growing his relations with Russia simultaneously. To follow a foreign policy different from that of the official Sarajevo, Dodik launched a Republika Srpska representative office in Moscow.
He has traveled to Russia on several occasions over the previous ten years, and reports suggest that he has had seven meetings with Vladimir Putin since 2014.
Milorad Dodik met with Vladimir Putin on September 20 in Moscow and got the Kremlin’s support for his upcoming reelection campaign.
Russia might used Dodik to destabilize the Balkans
Dodik publicly proposes separating Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS), dominated by Serbs, and uniting it with neighboring Serbia.
Dodik was penalized by the US Treasury Department for blocking the 1995 Dayton Accords’ adoption. He contends that Bosnia and Herzegovina should go back to the “original Dayton Peace Agreement,” undoing all of the changes made over the years
The Dayton Peace Accords, the agreement that put an end to Bosnia 1992–1995 war, which claimed an estimated 100,000 lives, resulted in the division of the country into two primary administrative divisions or entities, the RS and the Federation of BiH or FBiH, which has a majority of Bosniaks and Croats.
The country’s three main ethnic groups can dominate domestic politics and exercise control over essential decision-making processes thanks to the 1995 peace accord, a portion of which acts as the country’s constitution.
For his disruptive domestic acts, he has been the target of various US sanctions packages and was most recently added to a UK sanctions list. Despite this, Mr. Dodik continues his efforts which could lead to a more significant destabilization in the Balkans.