SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo on Thursday called the Bosnian Serb leader’s claims that his security services listened to the U.S. ambassador in Sarajevo “braggart” and added that his separatist policy “played” with the future of the Serbian entity in the Balkan state.
Milorad Dodik, a member of the Bosnian tripartite presidency, told a pre-election rally on Wednesday that the Bosnian Serb spy agency was now able to eavesdrop on the conversations of US Ambassador Michael Murphy and his crew.
“We listen to them now too, it’s not just them listening to us,” Dodik told his supporters. “I know what they’re talking about.”
He said it wasn’t possible to do it just a few years ago.
“What we say in private is the same as what we say in public: The United States remains committed to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and multi-ethnic character of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will respond to any destabilizing activity against -Dayton,” the United States said. Embassy tweeted, referring to a 1995 peace deal in Dayton, Ohio, between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats that ended a war that left at least 100,000 dead and millions homeless .
Although the peace accord ended the bloodshed, it left Bosnia deeply divided between the Bosnian Croat federation and the Serbian entity called Republika Srpska. Dodik openly tried to separate the Serbian entity from Bosnia and join it with neighboring Serbia.
“All Mr. Dodik’s bluster cannot change the fundamental fact that the RS is not a state. It is one of two entities in BiH,” the embassy tweet read. “His pursuit of an ‘independent Srpska in BIH’ does not protect the RS or its residents, it is gambling with their future.”
Dodik, known for his staunchly pro-Russian stance, has been under U.S. financial and travel sanctions since January after the Biden administration accused him of “corrupt activities” that threaten to destabilize the region.
According to Bosnian media, Dodik is among politicians from more than two dozen countries who since 2014 have been paid by Russia in return for exerting pro-Kremlin influence. According to a recently declassified study by US intelligence agencies, Russia has spent at least $300 million to influence both policy and politics in these states.
There are fears in the West that Russia – through the Bosnian Serbs and its Balkan ally Serbia – is working to destabilize Bosnia to divert at least some global attention from its war on Israel. Ukraine.
Celebrating a recently established holiday that promotes Serbian unity in the Balkans, Dodik said joining Serbia remains the Bosnian Serbs’ main goal.
“Today the Serbs have two states, Republika Srpska and Serbia, but we will always strive for unity,” he said.
Populist Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic attended celebrations in northern Bosnia on Thursday, saying “the historic moment demands that we unite and together defeat the madness that can once again turn these areas into slaughterhouses.”
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