Croatian president calls Croats in favour of sanctions against Dodik traitors

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of tripartite BiH Presidency. [EPA-EFE/FEHIM DEMIR]

President Zoran Milanović has once again defended the Serb member of the tripartite BiH presidency, Milorad Dodik, calling any Croat voting for EU sanctions against him a traitor.

“If someone from Croatia votes for those sanctions, for me, they will be a traitor. Then I will represent Croatia in the European Council,” said Milanović, adding that he opposes the EU imposing sanctions against Dodik as the US did.

“Dodik is not an ethnic nationalist, he’s not a chauvinist, doesn’t spread ethnic hatred”, Milanović told the press. “He is an interlocutor,” he added.

“Republika Srpska was supposed to be militarily destroyed in mid-October 1995 when the Croatian army, only because it was told so, did not enter Banja Luka,” Milanović said, adding that the entity was established under the Dayton Peace Agreement signed later that year, including by Croatia’s then-president Franjo Tuđman.

“I accept that, that’s all,” he said.

Milanović also strongly criticised his own government for not vetoing the EU Council conclusions on BiH, which were voted in December 2021. According to him, the Council conclusions do not mention the “constituent peoples” despite it being mentioned in the Dayton agreement.

Milanović also called Izetbegović, the leader of SDA, the largest Bosniak party in BiH, “a time thief” for holding a dialogue with Croatian representatives and then not honouring what had been agreed.

“Time is passing, the election is coming and will be held under totally untenable rules,” he said of a general election BiH is due to hold in October.

“The Croats will be robbed” unless the electoral system is changed to prevent the Bosniaks from electing Croat representatives in the highest state bodies again, he added.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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