Bosnian Serb leader ready to compromise: Russian ambassador

29th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik is willing to compromise on reforming Bosnia's central government as the international community demands, Russia's ambassador here said in an interview published Friday.

"Mr Dodik is ready to make a deal. I understand that (the political leaders) in the Republika Srpska are ready to agree and compromise but under the condition that the interests of the RS are respected," Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko told the Oslobodjenje newspaper.

Moscow is considered to be a close ally of the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska, one of the semi-autonomous entities that make up post-war Bosnia together with the Muslim Croat Federation.

Immediately after the October 3 general elections the European Union and the United States called on the newly-elected leaders to compromise to strengthen Bosnia's weak central government and make the ethnically-divided country easier to run.

During the election campaign hardliner Dodik vowed that he would not support any move that would weaken the far-reaching autonomy of the Bosnian Serb entity.

The Russian ambassador repeated that Dodik would not agree to anything that would "undermine the status of the RS" but added he was ready "to make agreements on some of the principal issues concerning the central institutions" without going into further detail.

Dodik's nationalist SNSD party came out as the top Bosnian Serb party in the elections. Dodik is expected to play a key role in Bosnian politics and in the negotiations to form a new central government.

Leaders from the leading Muslim, Croat and Serb parties in Bosnia are trying to cobble together a coalition government for the central institutions but analysts expect that the process can take months as politics are heavily polarised and divided along ethnic lines.

The 1992-95 inter-ethnic war in Bosnia that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia left some 100,000 people dead and an estimated two million internally displaced.

© 2010 AFP

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