The prestigious magazine Wall Street Journal published an article on the policy of the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik.
“Twenty years after the U.S. brokered peace in Bosnia, leaders who once pledged to rebuild a European democracy here are shunning the West,” as stated in the article.
Bosnia is increasingly dominated by ethnic nationalists such as Milorad Dodik, who first won Washington’s support in the 1990s with a pro-peace message and the promise of national unity. Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saw Mr. Dodik’s arrival as “a fresh breeze”, according to her spokesman at the time.
These days, US authorities stated that Mr. Dodik, President of the RS, became the main obstacle in the processes that BiH must implement in order to join the EU and NATO.
Given that BiH earned the candidate status for EU accession, and the same is preoccupied with problems such as migration and Brexit, many people are wondering whether the EU will even exist by the moment when BiH will be ready to join it.
Milorad Dodik said that he does not know whether the EU is valuable to join her:
“Europe is very depressing,” he said.
US authorities, however, say that BiH is not completely lost in the eyes of the West.
“Citizens of BiH want to be part of the European family,” as stated from the Embassy of the United States.
Also, EU officials believe that the rhetoric of Milorad Dodik will not turn BiH off the road of accession to the EU.
In late ‘90s, official Washington helped to set Dodik as prime minister of the Bosnian Serbs. When his party was defeated on the elections held in 2000, he turned against the idea of Bosnian unity and relations with the West. He was running in elections under the rhetoric of nationalism in 2006 and has not lost the elections ever since.
This is a disappointment for foreign diplomats who saw hope in Dodik.
“He was the hope of the West,” said EU High Representative to BiH, Valentin Inzko, who was in charge for the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
“Dodik is now building his own empire. Western community should consider to remove him from the scene,” said Inzko then, according to the article.