Russian-backed Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov is on a three-day visit to the Republika Srpska, a constituent entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he held a meeting with Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik and took part in the disputed Day of the Republic celebrations in the administrative capital Banja Luka on January 9.
Dodik held a meeting with Bibilov today, the Bosnian Serb leader saying he believed South Ossetia had a “completely sovereign right to decide on their destiny,” and that it was “entirely legitimate” for his administration to cooperate with Tskhinvali. Dodik also promised Bibilov a return visit to South Ossetia.
Asked about the protest note Georgia had sent to the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina over Bibilov’s trip, Dodik responded the South Ossetian leader was visiting the Republika Srpska rather than Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that Georgia was not a friend of the Republika Srpska.
Bibilov drew parallels between the Republika Srpska and South Ossetia calling the two entities “twins,” and adding that the two shared similar relationship with their common “strategic partner – the Russian Federation.” Commenting the Georgian protest note to Sarajevo, the Tskhinvali leader stressed: “I came to the Republika Srpska, not to Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Following Dodik’s meeting with Bibilov, the Srpska Minister for Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation Zlatan Klokic signed a memorandum of cooperation with Tskhinvali “foreign minister” Dmitry Medoev. A cooperation protocol between Bibilov’s “United Ossetia” and Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats parties was also signed.
According to Anatoly Bibilov’s press service, the Tskhinvali leader also informed Milorad Dodik of his intention to appoint an envoy to the Republika Srpska.
Prior to his trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Anatoly Bibilov traveled to Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia. Before that, he was in the “Donetsk people’s republic,” where he visited the frontline in the Donetsk airport area and brought military uniforms as a gift for local militants fighting against the Ukrainian army.