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Republika Srpska's president comments on cooperation with Russia

Republika Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) does not intend to join any union, the president says

BANJA LUKA, April 24. /TASS/. Republika Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) does not intend to join any union, its cooperation with Russia does not depend on relations with other countries, Republika Srpska’s President Milorad Dodik said at a briefing following his meeting with Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko on Tuesday.

"Cooperation between Republika Srpska and Russia cannot depend on interaction with other countries," he said, adding that Republika Srpska’s ties with the European Union could not damage its cooperation with Russia in areas of mutual interest.

Dodik also pointed out that Republika Srpska was not considering the possibility of joining any union. According to him, "it is a principled position."

While speaking about relations with NATO, Dodik said that "all state agencies and public figures in Republika Srpska are determined to pursue a policy of neutrality towards NATO."

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s makeup

Under the country’s constitution, which is part of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina, while remaining a single state, was divided into two entities - the Muslim-Croatian Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serb-populated Republika Srpska.

The document also established the position of High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina charged with the task of civil implementation.

The Chair of the country’s presidency rotates among the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. The central authorities are responsible for foreign, monetary and immigration policy, while other competencies are managed by the country’s entities. However, the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, selected by the European Union, is the highest political authority in the country. Russia calls for abolishing the High Representative’s office and turning it into an EU mission.