mandag 29. november 2021

Bosnian Serb leader: Putin and China will help if west imposes sanctions

The Bosnian Serb leader accused of risking war by pursuing the breakup of Bosnia-Herzegovina has dismissed the threat of western sanctions and hinted at an imminent summit with Vladimir Putin, saying: “I was not elected to be a coward”.

In an interview with the Guardian, Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the tripartite leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina, said he would not be deterred by the outcry from London, Washington, Berlin and Brussels. Dodik, 62, a key figure in Bosnian politics for 30 years, who was once a favourite of the west, insisted his plans need not lead to the end of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sanctions and cuts to EU funding would only force him to take up offers of investment from China, Dodik said, and he expected to see Russia’s leader “pretty soon”.

“And I even think that I like that”, Dodik said. “When I go to Putin there are no requests. He just says, ‘what is it I can help with?’. Whatever I discussed with him, I’ve never been cheated on it. I don’t know what else to base trust upon, if not that. With [China’s leader] Xi Jinping, he also says, ‘if there is anything I can help with I am there’.”