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Official website of the President of Russia

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Meeting with President of the Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik

February 21, 2024, Kazan

Vladimir Putin met with President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik in Kazan.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I am happy to see you. Thank you for accepting our invitation and joining us as a guest of honour for the opening of the Games of the Future, which are exciting and, I hope, potentially very popular competitions.

Frankly, I am not sure what it will look like, but what I have seen looks exciting. Young people are passionate about these sports, and it is a good thing that young people are moving away from their computers to join active sports on athletic fields. All of that taken together gives an unusual result. But in any case, this is a positive and good event of an absolutely humanitarian nature. We are happy to see our friends here.

We have senior officials from Republika Srpska visit us regularly, and we cooperate in many areas. I am certain that your visit will be productive, and we will use your time here to discuss bilateral relations in a number of areas.

We are aware that the situation in the republic remains complicated and we are prepared to discuss that as well.

We are grateful to you for maintaining regular contact with Russia and standing behind many of our initiatives, including what I believe is the noble act of commemorating the victims of Nazism. You personally participate in the Immortal Regiment marches.

We have long-standing and absolutely constructive relations with Republika Srpska. We take pride in our achievements, and I look forward to accomplishing much more in our relations.


President of the Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik (retranslated): I am happy to see you, Mr President.

Thank you very much for inviting me. I am honoured to be here and to be able to see you again.

Indeed, I confirm the good relations that Republika Srpska is building and expanding with the Russian state, thanks primarily to you.

We are certainly living through a difficult time, and we appreciate your understanding. You recently emphasised in your annual address that you understand where our relations are right now. They are complicated, they are not straightforward; they are indeed very complicated.

The situation is further aggravated by the fact that we remain under Western supervision, and we are in the midst of an international, primarily Western intervention. They have now moved from Dayton to abuse, to imposing on us a German national as High Representative, one who has not been appointed by the UN Security Council. Thank you for your attention to this issue. If that individual had been given the authority, he would definitely have abolished Republika Srpska.

In these circumstances, we are trying to fend off any calls to join the sanctions against Russia. They [the West] are trying hard enough, trying to persuade us to do this almost on a daily basis. It goes without saying that we also refuse to move towards NATO membership, even though we are being subjected to considerable pressure.

As you know, Serbs were bombed twice by NATO – Republika Srpska, and then Serbia. I can testify that there are a lot of young people – including young children – who are suffering the effects of the depleted uranium bombs they used on us in 1995 and 2000. The incidence of malignant tumours caused by those bombings, has increased several times, tenfold in some cases. So it would be both illogical and abnormal if we accepted NATO membership in principle.

We are trying to maintain economic stability in very difficult conditions. When the West came to us, they immediately privatised business banks; now they are deciding if they will continue working with us, and they are doing it purely for political reasons.

We are maintaining political and institutional stability – we are not facing any particular challenges in this regard, but of course, they are trying to fuel alternative sentiment to undermine the stability of the Republika Srpska.

We certainly maintain excellent ties with President Vučić of Serbia and President Orbán of Hungary, which makes things easier for us, especially in Europe.

However, all the top officials – me, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and the member of the Presidency [of Bosnia and Herzegovina] from the Republika Srpska – have been sanctioned by the UK and the US. Thanks to our “friends” in the European Union, they did it together with European sanctions.

But our people say, what does not kill you, makes you stronger. So we are confident that we will come out of this stronger, especially relying on the understanding and support of our friends. I am deeply grateful to you for your time, for taking time from your very busy schedule to see me and consider our situation. It means a lot to us. I would like to tell you that our people have been looking forward to this meeting and will take pride in it.

Vladimir Putin: Once again, welcome.


February 21, 2024, Kazan