Posted: 20.02.2024 11:26:00

The Republic of Srpska is grateful to Aleksandr Lukashenko for support, ready to intensify co-operation

On February 19th, the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, held talks with the President of the Republic of Srpska, an entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik

President of the Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik   Belta

Last weekend, the guests already visited Minsk Scientific and Practical Centre for Surgery, Transplantation and Hematology, as well as a number of industrial enterprises of our country. The focus is on the development of bilateral trade relations, increasing co-operation in the fields of industry, healthcare, science and education, and expanding
the bilateral legal and contractual framework.
“I have familiarised myself with your work in Belarus during this time. I welcome your endeavours here. The main thing you can be sure of — if any Belarusian technologies or developments in agriculture, industry or healthcare suit your needs, we are always happy to help and support you,” the Belarusian leader assured.
Milorad Dodik, in turn, warmly welcomed the Belarusian Head of State and thanked for the opportunity to meet in person, “I am very glad to meet you. I personally view you as a friend of our people, or — I would rather say — as a brother.”
The President of the Republic of Srpska recalled that his first meeting with Aleksandr Lukashenko took place in 2000 at the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Christianity in Jerusalem.
“Despite all the challenges, our friendship continues,” Milorad Dodik noted. “I know that your country is also under pressure and sanctions from the West. In the Republic of Srpska, we did not allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to vote
for the sanctions. Of course, it was not easy for us to overcome the pressure from both Brussels and Washington,
but we remained consistent in our decision. The entire leadership of the Republic of Srpska is currently under British and American sanctions,” the President of the Republic of Srpska pointed out.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that Belarus is closely watching the situation in the Balkans,
“You know very well my attitude to all the existing issues and to the events that took place in Yugoslavia, when the country was simply dismembered. You know my position and my attitude to your country in the most difficult times. I mean the time when Serbia was under bombing attacks. You know the way we establish relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know that sometimes things are not easy for your country, but you resist difficulties with courage. We welcome this. Unfortunately, it is only courage, resilience and strength that can determine the future of a particular country, region, district or territory today. I think that you are standing firm there, representing the interests of Orthodox people, the people who trust and believe you. In this regard, we are on your side, and you can count on us.”
Following the high-level talks, Milorad Dodik told reporters that Belarus and the Republic of Srpska enter a new level of economic collaboration. According to the distinguished guest, the meeting with the Belarusian leader was ‘exceptional’. “It was an opportunity for me to thank Aleksandr Lukashenko for his support and co-operation,” President Dodik said.
The President of the Republic of Srpska, an entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly emphasised his gratitude for the assistance of the Belarusian side in the field of healthcare — more than 20 citizens of the republic (including three children) underwent transplants in Belarus.
“We have also talked about new economic co-operation. We are planning to purchase your equipment — electric buses, agricultural machines for a total amount of about $10m. We will work on these questions in the near future,” Milorad Dodik continued. “Aleksandr Lukashenko was the only leader who supported and understood my people back in 1999. It was an act of personal courage, and we, Serbs, will never forget it. Your President is a living legend, he is a witness to the difficult times that Belarusians, Russians and Serbs went through. It was a friendly conversation, and we will continue to have similar conversations.”
Milorad Dodik added that he last visited Belarus in 2019. After that, he met with the Belarusian leader at various venues, and the parties always used the opportunity to discuss bilateral co-operation.
The international agenda was also discussed during the current meeting. Regarding it, the Republic of Srpska and Belarus are in a similar situation, as they are experiencing sanctions pressure from the West, as emphasised the leader of the Republic of Srpska. “Therefore, we understand each other without words. There is no need to explain much
to each other. President Aleksandr Lukashenko is a rare leader who is familiar with all the details and understands us. And we always talk about mutual assistance.”

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