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Republika Srpska to cooperate with Russia and West must respect that — Dodik

At the same time, Milorad Dodik called preservation of peace and stability as a priority of domestic policy

BELGRADE, October 5. /TASS/. Republika Srpska (RS, a Bosnia and Herzegovina entity) will cooperate with Russia, and the West must respect that, Serb Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Milorad Dodik said in a commentary for TASS.

"Our main foreign policy priority is successful cooperation with Serbia, Russia, our friend Hungary, with China and others who would like that. Of course, we will not shut our door to the West, we will try talking with them too, but they must learn that such communication will no longer possible from a position of demand of total obedience and submission," Dodik said. "If they want to talk like partners, then they can have it."

"Despite our small size - Republika Srpska’s population is about 1 million and 100 thousand people - I believe it the character of power, the strength of character of a leader that fights to achieve his goals is what is important on the global arena today. So, if the West wants to talk, it must respect our foreign policy priorities, and they are connected with the historically proven friendship between the Russian Federation and the Serbian people," Dodik said.

At the same time, Dodik called preservation of peace and stability as a priority of domestic policy.

"Our domestic policy priorities are peace, stability and the best possible positioning of Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will not abandon that. We will challenge all RS competences that were taken away from us and elevated to the BiH level, because this yielded no results, but only added to instability. We will have a stable structure of bodies of power, and a government based on a strong majority. From this formal standpoint, we have all preconditions for a strong domestic policy."

On Sunday evening, Dodik announced his victory in the RS presidential election. On October 2, residents of two BiH entities - Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Brcko city district were voted for members of the Presidency - a collective head of state - as well as RS President and two Vice Presidents, 42 BiH lawmakers, 83 RS lawmakers and 98 FBiH lawmakers.

The voter turnout was 50%. The election involved 90 parties, 38 coalitions, and 17 independent candidates. A total of 3.3 million people are eligible to vote in Bosnia and Herzegovina, over 60,000 people were registered as observers. This was the 9th general election since the declaration of independence in 1992.