Dodik insists RS has right to self-determination

NOVI SAD -- Milorad Dodik says the Republic of Srpska, RS, could use its right to self-determination.

The prime minister of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina said this would come if international order is violated with most countries recognizing Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence, thus legitimizing the right to secession.

"If this is so, then we do not see a single reason why we should not be granted the right to self-determination, the right envisaged in international conventions."

"If anyone were to forcefully try to rearrange Bosnia-Herzegovina and deny the Republic of Srpska, our answer would be swift and clear – a referendum on the RS state status," Dodik told a Novi Sad daily.

The atmosphere in the region, he added, in the wake of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of secession, does not work in favor of integration processes.

As for the RS, it does not see the fact that the Kosovo Albanians' assembly in Priština voted to declare independence as the problem; rather, the Bosnian Serbs see it in illegal and unilateral recognitions, that have caused a "swell of anti-Western feeling among the Serb people".

For months, Dodik continued, the RS warned international officials that it will be hard to explain to the Serbs in Bosnia, "and not only them", that Albanians in Kosovo are entitled to a state, while they are not.

Dodik also stressed that the possible referendum in the RS "does not depend on Banja Luka, but on the attitude that the Federation parties display toward the entity in the future".

He reminded that his party has sent a declaration on ratification of the Dayton Agreement and the adoption of the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the parliament in Sarajevo.

"Bosnia-Herzegovina has to be the only country in the world that has not adopted its own constitution. By adopting it, the parties in the [Muslim-Croat] Federation would finally recognize the RS as a constituen part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and for us, this would be a sign that we are welcome in Bosnia-Herzegovina," he said.

But Dodik also warned that the "Federation parties", should they fail to accept this declaration, "will be responsible for the sequence of events to follow".