The Chairman of the BiH Presidency, Milorad Dodik, said on Tuesday that the EU expects BiH to form authorities as soon as possible without any conditions, including the adoption of the annual national plan, and added that his party, the SNSD, will not sacrifice the principle of military neutrality for any agreement on the formation of the Council of Ministers.
Dodik told a press conference in Banjaluka that he will meet with HDZ leader Dragan Covic and SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic tomorrow in Sarajevo and that they will discuss the formation of authorities.
“We think that prior to a final agreement, we should meet and try to resolve this issue,” Dodik said and added that five EU member states are not members of NATO and that the EU is of the opinion that membership in NATO is a free choice of every country.
He said that the SNSD remains committed to the Resolution on Military Neutrality that was adopted by the Republika Srpska Parliament and that the party will not sacrifice this principle for any reason.
“On the other hand, the SDA is trying to impose its position that the issue of the so-called plan for NATO should be resolved prior to the formation of the Council of Ministers,” Dodik said.
Noting that this plan was prepared without the participation of the SNSD, Dodik said that BiH cooperates with NATO as part of the Partnership for Peace and an individual cooperation plan, which means joint exercises and participation in NATO missions all over the world.
Dodik said that the SNSD advocated demilitarization back in 2005, but that no one heard it.
“We think that the principle of military neutrality is the best for BiH and that it is absolutely unnecessary to join any military alliance and organization, not only NATO,” Dodik said.
He said that if the SDA tries to insist on making the formation of authorities conditional upon the adoption of the 1st National Annual Program, this would be their political decision.
“They must understand that the SNSD will not sacrifice the principle of military neutrality for any agreement on the formation of authorities and this is my message today, and it will be the same tomorrow as well,” Dodik said.
According to him, BiH’s accession to NATO would mean to double allocations for armed forces, and this would be financed by the Entities, which means that Republika Srpska would have to allocate another KM 100 million for the army.
“We cannot give it. We need it for some development programs, hospitals, schools, roads, many things that we want to do,” Dodik said.
He said that when it comes to previous talks on the formation of the Council of Ministers, no one disputed the fact that a Serb should be the chairman, and added that the name of Zoran Tegeltija, who should assume the office of chairman, was also not disputed, but that the SDA suddenly cited the Annual National Program as a point of disagreement.
“As far as the HDZ is concerned, they do not put this condition,” Dodik said and added that it remains to wait for the SDA.
Dodik explained that the SNSD will not enter any coalition with the SDA and that it won’t sign any document on program coalition, which previous Republika Srpska representatives did.
“We can only be a part of technical process of formation of the Council of Ministers, where this time the SNSD will take that which belongs to Republika Srpska and Serbs, and there is no need to get approval from the SDA for something like that,” Dodik said.
DODIK: NOT INTERESTED IN SURROGATE BOSNIA WHICH CANNOT WORK
Dodik stated his goal is a Dayton agreement-based Bosnia and Herzegovina which is defined in both the Dayton Peace Accords and in the Constitution, not its surrogate that is unable to function.
Elaborating on his statement that he will leave the Presidency if together with the other two members he fails to return the country from its current path of self-destruction to the right path within a year at most, Dodik said he considered himself an absolute legalist when he said he advocated the Constitution.
“But, things should be the way they were stipulated, not the way some people made them, imposed them and then turned BiH into a non-functioning surrogate. It’s not a secret that I have been re-examining my tenure at the Presidency even since the time before I was elected,” Dodik told the press in Banjaluka.
He made a comment about a constant obstruction and disagreements about an agreement on lowering roaming prices between BiH and regional countries, and later on with the European Union by 80%, which is supposed to come into effect on July 1.
“There is nothing to be agreed there and it has to be accepted. Only Bosnia and Herzegovina is refusing to sign the agreement on April 5 due to some interests of certain companies. I have spoken with the Republika Srpska M:tel director and they are willing to adhere to those decisions because Serbia has agreed to make the roaming prices 80% cheaper,” emphasised Dodik.
He said the Croat member of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic had assured him they were willing to give their consent to the agreement, while the Bosniak member Sefik Dzaferovic believed some things should be clarified further.
“That means that BH Telecom probably wants to buy some time and have higher profits. I don’t want to waste my time or energy on those issues because that is a vital interest of our citizens. Why should we pay 80% more than the people in Serbia, Montenegro or the EU? What kind of a state fails to protect its own people? The Presidency will send its decision that it agrees to sign the agreement as early as tomorrow,” said Dodik.
He said he did not want to re-examine deals about the things that had already been agreed, such as the route of the Sarajevo-Belgrade motorway.
“If we agreed on the route, then that’s the route. If we agreed that the entire BiH should be supplied with gas, then there’s no stopping and no one from Sarajevo can say that a leg of the pipeline from Serbia should not go towards Republika Srpska,” said Dodik.
He reiterated that he did not take the job at the BiH presidency to earn a salary nor have his photographs taken but to do something for the benefit of the people.
“Why should I go to Sarajevo and sit in endless meetings without any results? That’s what I would like to know,” stated Dodik.