How most pro-Russian politician in Europe destabilises situation in Balkans

Friday, 26 January 2024

The Republic of Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) may attempt to declare independence by the end of this year. However, only if Donald Trump wins the US presidential elections.

The Bosnian and Herzegovinian Court may intervene against the President of the Republic of Srpska, Milorad Dodik. There is currently a case against the president for disrespecting the decisions of the High Representative Christian Schmidt.

The court's decision, however, expected in the coming months, could trigger stability in the Balkans, warns the temporary representative of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018), Volodymyr Tsybulnyk, in the article – Balkans' main separatist: can Milorad Dodik create full-scale crisis in the region.

The Bosnian and Herzegovinian Court is considering a case regarding the non-recognition by President Milorad Dodik of the High Representative Christian Schmidt (de facto the highest authority in the confederation) and his decisions.

The Balkan separatist Dodik, who systematically undermines stability in the region, may face imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years for this.

Although the process has been postponed for the third time. Lawyers removed one of the judges again on 17 January 17. Dodik will find it challenging to avoid responsibility for his actions.

In addition, opposition MP of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, Ramiz Salkić, filed a lawsuit against Dodik for violating the constitution and conducting unconstitutional "celebrations" on 9 January. On 17 January, he was supported by the Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zukan Helez.

But let's return to the legal case regarding Dodik's non-recognition of the High Representative Schmidt. A strange situation is here: Dodik faces potential imprisonment, but on the other hand, a law granting immunity to their president from prosecution was recently approved in the Republic of Srpska.

It looks like, however, that this decision does not provide sufficient protection for Dodik. So, he seeks to act proactively.

Dodik may initiate a referendum on the independence of the Republic of Srpska to protect himself. He has mentioned it several times.

But there are two "buts." Firstly, such a question is beyond their competence and contradicts the Dayton Peace Agreements. Preparation for the referendum can be stopped or cancelled by the High Representative.

The second problem is the risk that this referendum will not be attractive to voters and therefore will not be recognised as valid. This risk is quite high, as de facto Dodik is no longer the leader of all Bosnian Serbs.

The authorities in Banja Luka intend to amend the referendum law to avoid it. In particular, by abolishing the provision that requires a positive answer from the majority of all those who have the right to vote in the Republic of Srpska, replacing it with a simple majority.

To strengthen his position, Milorad Dodik openly speculates on the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Eurointegration.

You can hear from him as if he supports the EU integration today, and tomorrow he proposes instead the accession of the Republic of Srpska to BRICS.

Milorad Dodik's separatism increasingly resembles an information-propaganda special operation by Russia.

Moreover, as Vladimir Putin noted in his annual press conference in December, his assessments of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina simply copies Dodik's views.

Not every country was mentioned by the Kremlin dictator. But Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska were mentioned, which is bad news for the entire region. It means that, despite the war in Ukraine, Russia will continue to support Dodik's separatist statements and actions, if only verbally.

And only resistance from Ukraine prevents the Kremlin from starting a new war in the Balkans.

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