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    Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska is pictured on an election poster calling for votes for a referendum on their Statehood Day in Prnjavor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 21, 2016

    Republika Srpska Leader Says Never Discussed Separation From Bosnia With Putin

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    Milorad Dodik, the president of Bosnia's Serb-dominated federal region of Republika Srpska, told Sputnik on Monday that he had never discussed separation of Republika Srpska from Bosnia with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) claimed in an article published on Sunday that Russia was meddling in Macedonia’s internal affairs, seeking to "create a strip of militarily neutral countries" in the Balkans, which would include Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the accusations of Russia’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of Macedonia a provocation.

    "Let's make it clear: we have never talked about the separation of Republika Srpska from Bosnia with [Russian President] Putin, it's all a lie, and the lie on purpose in order to demonize Russia again. Officials in Moscow told us: you have a constitution, there is international law, and we will support you in your aspirations to have your rights observed. And nobody said ‘Mr Dodik, when you organize a [secession] referendum, how can we help?’ All of these are speculations," Dodik said.

    Dodik stressed that it was upon Republika Srpska to decide on the possibility of the referendum on the entity’s separation from Bosnia.

    "We will consider the possibility of a referendum, I would not like to speculate on this subject now, but I will not stop thinking about it," Dodik stressed.

    Bosnia is made up of two autonomies – Serbian-majority Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina dominated by Bosniaks and Croats – as well as the Brcko district. The union state is governed by a three-member presidency.


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