Yesterday, the member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from the Republika Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, practically announced the way in which, at least temporarily, he intends to get out of the situation he fell into by announcing the withdrawal from the BiH Armed Forces (AFBiH) and the formation of the RS Army.
This announcement by Dodik first scared the citizens of BiH. But recently, High Representative (HR) in BiH, Christian Schmidt said that Dodik had given up on those intentions.
In an interview with the Guardian late last month, Schmidt pointed out that regional leaders had persuaded Dodik to suspend plans to withdraw troops from the AFBiH and re-create the RS army.
”It is obvious that after many talks, including those in the neighborhood, he has received the message that no one will accept a way that leads to the increased potential for political and, hopefully not, military conflict, “ Schmidt told the Guardian in an interview in Washington.
Dodik then denied Schmidt’s claims, but it became clear that he was now looking for a way to get out of this situation, ie not to draw any specific move on leaving the AF, and still not present it as giving up or withdrawing, ie to “save face “.
Apart from that, it is possible that Dodik recently received a warning in that direction during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, because he later admitted that he was told that “Russia is not for adventure” in BiH.
Dodik has little time left for that, since the session of the RS National Assembly, at which the withdrawal of competencies will be discussed, is scheduled for tomorrow.
Yesterday, at the event “RS – a return of stolen constitutional competencies” in Belgrade, he spoke about the return of competencies and at the same time, discreetly, revealed his plan. He first mentioned that a new law on the RS army had already been written.
However, he then noted that he would make a decision “to prepare the normative regulation of the AFBiH in the next six months, and the first proposal is to halve the composition”.
“We will first offer to halve the composition of the AFBiH and give them some time to exist. If there is no readiness for that, a new law on the RS army and a new law on the demilitarization of the RS have already been written,” Dodik told.
He justified that with the national composition of the AFBiHand high costs.
“We have no benefits from the AFBiH, Serbs do not go there, 40 percent of Croats are missing, and Muslims want to fill those quotas. The budget item in the BiH budget is the largest for the AF, amounting to 370 million, which is actually not an army, but a big consumer, “ Dodik said.
It is, by all accounts, a way to gain time. In this way, Dodik gained at least six more months and moved the deadline for making any concrete decision to withdraw from the AFBiH. After that, he will, of course, find some argument again not to implement his announcement.