Argument: Republika Srpska is making serious moves toward independence


“Bosnian Presidency’s Silajdzic says Serb entity trying to act ‘independent’.” BBC. 15 Sept. 2008 – “Sarajevo, 15 September: The chairman of Bosnia-Hercegovina’s tripartite presidency, Haris Silajdzic, on Monday [15 September] accused the Bosnian Serb authorities of violating the Bosnian Constitution, and confirmed that he had initiated a dispute before the Constitutional Court to suspend decisions that promote the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska, as an independent state. “The authorities of Republika Srpska want to win the status of a separate and independent international entity,” Silajdzic told a news conference in Sarajevo.”

Silajdzic said that such behaviour had been going on for years and that it had escalated after the Bosnian Serb authorities announced plans to withdraw from the state power transmission company Elektroprijenos B-H and after they exerted pressure on the state broadcasting corporation RTV B-H.

Silajdzic said that the Bosnian Serb government headed by Milorad Dodik was now trying to promote its secessionist plans abroad by directly interfering in the affairs of the Bosnian Presidency, which is the only body authorized under the constitution to conduct the country’s foreign policy. Silajdzic said that his office took legal action before the Constitutional Court today to challenge the decisions by the Republika Srpska government and prevent the implementation of the measures through which the Bosnian Serb entity was trying to promote its own foreign policy and foreign trade by opening its own political and trade missions abroad.

Silajdzic said the lawsuit was based on evidence gathered from lobbying firms in the United States and Belgium which the Bosnian Serb government had hired to promote Republika Srpska as an independent political entity, and that the Dodik government had earmarked about EUR 2.5 million for that purpose.

Silajdic cited the lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates, which he said represented the interests of Republika Srpska in the United States for a monthly fee of USD 120,000. He added that this became clear after the US Justice Department introduced a regulation in 2007 ordering lobbying firms to report all communications with their clients.

“We initiated the dispute because we got the evidence only now. It has nothing to do with the election campaign,” Silajdzic said. Silajdzic accused Dodik and his ministers of obstructing Bosnia-Hercegovina’s path to European Union membership and the conduct of state foreign policy.