During a ceremony commemorating the national day of the Republika Srpska, President Milorad Dodik awarded Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Order of the Republic. Dodik declared in the capital city of Banja Luka that “President Putin is responsible for developing and strengthening collaboration and the political and friendly relations between the Republic of Srpska and Russia. He has merits in the field of public activities that contribute to the overall and mutual political, economic, social, and industry growth and development.”
Republika Srpska was formed on January 9, 1992, at the outbreak of the war in Bosnia to protect the rights of Serbs in Bosnia. It achieved international recognition through the 1995 Dayton accords and today is one of the two components of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Dodik, who became President of the Republic of Srpska in November 2022, is considered one of Russia’s strongest allies in the Balkans. He also serves as president of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats. He previously served as Prime Minister from 1998-2001 and 2006-2010, as well as president of the Republic of Srpska from 2010 to 2018.
Dodik will officially present the award to Putin at their next in-person meeting. Dudik credited Putin for his “particularly patriotic care and love for the Republika Srpska and for developing and strengthening cooperation and economic and political relations between the Republika Srpska and Russia.”