Moscow has refused to provide Europe with its resources for a bargain, the president of Republika Srpska has said
Russia has fallen out of grace with the West because it wouldn't play ball with Europe any longer when it comes to supplying the continent with cheap gas, the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said in an interview released on Monday ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to Russia's NTV channel, Dodik, who heads one of the regions within Bosnia and Herzegovina that is predominantly populated by Serbs, offered his take on the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
He said that "the Russians have been giving cheap gas to Europe and Germany for an unreasonably long time, for years, strengthening their economy."
"Of course, the West doesn't like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. How could they like him when he doesn't give them resources?" he said, adding that the international community should "respect" Russia and understand the role it plays globally.
Against this backdrop, Dodik noted that when the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev started over a year ago, Berlin was willing to deliver "only helmets" to Ukraine, but ended up sending Kiev Leopard main battle tanks. "Why should we believe in their good intentions now?" he asked.
Dodik went on to point out that while the West is trying to portray itself as a "defender of ordinary people in Ukraine," it never really cared to protect the population in countries such as Syria, Libya or Yugoslavia. The latter came under "baseless" air strikes conducted by Western countries themselves, he claimed.
Dodik's remarks come after he held a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev in Moscow, during which the two discussed regional security. According to the Serb leader, he also informed Patrushev of the challenging conditions Republika Srpska has found itself in due to Western pressure over its refusal to join the sanctions against Russia.
Meanwhile, the Republika Srpska leader, who has long promoted his region's independence, was himself hit by US sanctions in 2017 after Washington accused him of obstructing the 1995 Dayton Accords, which put an end to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On Tuesday, Dodik is set to sit down with Putin in Moscow, with the agenda expected to revolve around economic cooperation, according to Republika Srpska officials. Dodik said he planned to discuss with the Russian leader "how the world would look like in the future."