Dodik to meet Putin

Dodik to meet Putin

Banja Luka, September 15, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

RS President Milorad Dodik will travel to Moscow in order to meet Russian president, Vladimir Putin on September 22, just three days before the disputed referendum in RS on January 9 as Day of RS.

Chief of RS Representative Office in Moscow, Dusko Perovic, confirmed that Putin’s Cabinet informed him about meeting.

“This is a meeting in the framework of regular consultations on various topics”, Perovic commented.

Dodik said that his visit to Russia had been planned earlier and that the allegations that he is going there for support to the referendum are a speculation because the referendum “is a closed issue”. Dodik stressed that he and Russian President Putin will discuss several issues during his visit to Russia.

“We have a continuity of talks with the leadership of Russia. This is an important moment, but not so significant as it is speculated that every single thing must be related only to the referendum. The referendum is a closed issue and will be held on September 25”, Dodik told to reporters in Belgrade.

He added that technical and other preparations for referendum have been completed. Dodik said that the speculations about the meeting with Putin on the eve of the referendum are endlessly possible. The meeting, but not the date was agreed with the Cabinet of the Russian president earlier this year, during the meeting in St. Petersburg. However, September 22 has been offered as the appointment date.

“The visit has nothing to do with the fact that the referendum will be held. Whether I am going or not on September 22  is not what’s important, what is important is our decision to hold and carry out the referendum”, Dodik said.

Asked whether he expects Putin and Russia’s support concerning the referendum, Dodik has reminded that Russia has already stated it will abide by the position to protect the international law, which includes the UN Charter that gives the right to referendum to the peoples, and Serbs are the people.

“If the peoples have that right, then why deny it to someone if it is recognised by the top document of the UN? Russia has abode by the position to protect the international law, never contested either the Dayton Peace Agreement or BiH, but also stated that it respects both the status and right of Republika Srpska given in the Agreement”, Dodik said.

A delegation from RS, headed by Dodik, had a meeting with Putin earlier. After that meeting, Dodik said that there is a good will of Russian Federation to help RS in a financial manner. Shortly after that visit in September 2014 Dodik said that RS will get the two loans under the best possible conditions. The loans however, were never realised.