Bosnian Serbs award Putin the Medal of Honor Vladimir Putin News

A separatist leader awards the Russian president a medal for “national attention” to the Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia.

Bosnian Serb separatist leader Milorad Dodik awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin in absentia his highest honor in recognition of his “patriotic concern and love” for the Serb-controlled half of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Putin is responsible for developing and strengthening cooperation and political and friendly relations between the Republika Srpska [Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia] Dodik said at the award ceremony on Sunday in the Serbian-majority city of Banja Luka.

Dodik, who visited Putin in September in Moscow, has maintained close relations with the Russian president despite Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He praised Putin for Russia’s support of Republika Srpska and said he would present the medal to him at their next meeting.

“Thanks to the position of Vladimir Putin and the strength of the Russian Federation, the voice and position of Republika Srpska have been heard and respected,” he said.

The West has long accused Moscow of seeking to destabilize Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans through its proxies in Serbia and Bosnia.

Dodik explicitly advocated tearing apart Republika Srpska to join it with neighboring Serbia.

Russian envoys supported him in his separatist moves aimed at weakening the central government.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Dodik tried to block the efforts of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia to join EU sanctions against Moscow.

Last month, Russia denounced the European Union for granting Bosnia’s candidate status to join the bloc. The Kremlin had warned earlier that it would consider Bosnia’s moves towards joining NATO, “a hostile act.”

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A peace deal brokered by the United States in 1995 ended the war in Bosnia that had killed at least 100,000 people and displaced millions, but left the country deeply divided among its three main ethnic groups.

Dodik awarded Putin on the occasion of the “Day of Republika Srpska”, which the Constitutional Court of Bosnia deemed illegal.

January 9 marks when the Bosnian Serbs announced that they had separated from Bosnia in 1992, with the aim of separating the Serb-populated areas of the Balkan country and joining them with Serbia.

Tensions are running high in Bosnia as Serbs planned to hold their main celebrations on the outskirts of Sarajevo on Monday, the city they had besieged for three years during the war.

Thousands of people were killed in the relentless bombing and sniping of the Bosnian capital.

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