Serb member of the Bosnian Presidency Milorad Dodik on Saturday announced that he would hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss gas projects and economic cooperation.
Dodik is set to meet Lavrov in the Serbian capital Belgrade on Tuesday, and with President Putin in St. Petersburg 10 days later.
“We are talking about the construction of a gas pipeline, the construction of gas-fired thermal power plants, as well as other things related to cooperation in the field of economy. We need to see what those prospects are,” Dodik said in a statement.
He pointed out that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is more divided than ever before.
“I am being pressured from all sides to join the sanctions against Russia and to show some enthusiasm. We decided not to do that because we know that this disaster will pass and that we will have to cooperate and have good relations with Russia,” said Dodik.
He added that his meetings will provoke certain reactions in the West.
Dodik received an invitation to participate in the 25th International Economic Forum to be held on June 15-18 in St. Petersburg, where he is scheduled to meet Putin.
Lavrov is set to visit Serbia on June 6 and 7 for official talks.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the top Russian diplomat are expected to discuss gas supply to Serbia, as well as the pricing and quantity of gas.
This will be the first visit of a high-ranking Russian official to Serbia since the Ukraine war started on Feb. 24, and it comes at a time when the European Union is preparing a new series of sanctions.