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Republika Srpska has no intention of joining NATO — leader

The republic plans to maintain military neutrality, according to the high-ranking politician

BANJA LUKA / Bosnia and Herzegovina/, November 21. /TASS/. Republika Srpska (one of the two entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina) is not looking to join NATO and renounce its policy of military neutrality, Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik said in an interview with TASS.

"We are feeling enormous pressure on the issue of NATO membership. West would like to have all countries as NATO members, their aims are clear. They frame it in a way that tells countries that they should strive to be admitted to NATO and if you don’t, then it’s a problem. Republika Srpska has no intention of altering its strategic determination — military neutrality," he underlined.

The politician believes that joining NATO after devastating bombings in 1999 would justify the illegal aggression of the North Atlantic Alliance against former Yugoslavia.

"Republika Srpska does not see any advantages in NATO as others [do], we went through NATO bombings, we know what it is like. To join NATO means to morally exonerate that NATO generation or the current alliance from those despicable bombings and depleted uranium that even now continues to kill our children. This is something that we cannot understand or accept, I think they finally should make peace with our position regarding this issue. We can cooperate [with them], it’s unavoidable, but they will never hear us say that we are moving towards integration or that Bosnia and Herzegovina is going for NATO membership," the politician stressed.

In accordance with the constitution drafted at the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Dayton Agreement) and signed in Paris on December 14, 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two primary entities: the Muslim-Croatian Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (51% of the territory) and Republika Srpska (49% of the territory), as well as the Brcko District. The state structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most complicated in the world. Three main nations are represented in the government proportionally: the Bosniaks (Slavs who converted to Islam), the Serbs (Orthodox) and the Croatians (Catholics).

Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be admitted into NATO without the agreement of all the entities. At the same time, Republika Srpska’s parliament adopted a resolution on military neutrality back in October 2017. Bosnian Serbs categorically oppose NATO membership and view the parliament resolution as a first step to hold a referendum to ask people of Bosnia and Herzegovina directly whether they want to join the North Atlantic Alliance.