Analysis 22 Sep 16

Putin Hosts Dodik Ahead of Bosnia Serb Vote

Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting the Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in Moscow in what appears a clear sign of Kremlin support for the controversial referendum.

Danijel Kovacevic
BIRN
Banja Luka
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/AP

Speaking before his departure for Moscow on Wednesday, Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, claimed the focus of the meeting with the Russian President would be “economic cooperation, as Russian investors are very present in [Republika] Srpska”.

Despite his words, few doubt that the controversial referendum on the National Day of the RS, scheduled for September 25, as well as the Bosnian local elections, set for October 2, will be high on the agenda.

Dodik said his visit to Russia had been long planned, and that claims that he was going to seek support for the referendum were speculation, since, he said, the referendum was already “a closed issue” and would go ahead.

The meeting, but not the date, was indeed agreed with the Russian President's office earlier this year during a meeting in St. Petersburg.

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