Monday, October 2, 2023

    Serbian patriarch meets with infamous leader of Bosnian Serbs

    On August 3, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia met with the President of Republika Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Milorad Dodik and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić on the territory of the Osovici Monastery in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    The pilgrimage of the two politicians and the head of the Church of Serbia was timed to the 28th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Storm on August 4, 1995. Then Croatia managed to completely destroy the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska on the territory of its country in three days. August 4 in Serbia and the Serbian Autonomy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is celebrated as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Operation Storm and is considered a day of mourning.

    “We agreed that all efforts should be aimed at preserving peace and developing mutual understanding between peoples and nations. It was also emphasized that it is important that Serbia continues to help our people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We express great gratitude to the Most Reverend Bishop of Banja Luka, Mr. Ephraim, for his Abrahamic hospitality and fatherly advice,” the patriarch said at the end of the meeting. This was reported by the website of the Serbian Patriarchate.

    It is worth noting that the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, Milorad Dodik, is a rather dubious figure. He has been the President of the Republika Srpska since 2010, with a short break in 2021-2022. A number of scandals are associated with his name. In particular, Dodik is in conflict with the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina due to his desire to expand the rights of the Republika Srpska, or even to ensure complete secession. Also, he is known for his support for Russian aggression against Ukraine. In January 2023, the leader of the Bosnian Serbs awarded Putin the Order of Republika Srpska, and already in May, he visited Moscow.

    In December 2018, a scandal erupted over an icon presented by Dodik to Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov. It turned out to be a museum exhibit looted by Russians from Ukraine’s Luhansk. And the fact that Dodik got hold of it in the first place is explained by his close friendship with the Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, who does not shy away from keeping stolen items in his collections.

    It should be recalled that the Bishop of the Serbian Church criticizes what he claims is the “persecution” of the UOC (MP), as well as continued supply of western weapons to Ukraine.