30 Sep 2018 16:58

Putin wishes Republika Srpska's president successful election

SOCHI. Sept 30 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has wished Milorad Dodik, the President of Republika Srpska, and his supporters successes in upcoming elections on October 7.

"I know that you have elections on October 7, I want to wish success to you and your supporters," Putin said at a meeting with Dodik.

He also said he hopes the elections will be well-organized and held in accordance with the law.

Dodik replied by noting that October 7 is Putin's birthday and offered his congratulations. He then removed from his jacket and gave Putin a lapel pin in the form of the Republika Srpska flag, noting that it was like "the Russian flag turned upside down."

The presidents discussed cooperation between their countries in a variety of areas including ecology, in particular the prospect of re-purposing Republika Srpska's oil refineries for natural gas. Dodik stressed that those problems were "not so much a problem as a desire to create a semblance of it."

The bilateral relations, including in areas such as oil production and refining, are actively developing, Putin said.

He also noted the growing humanitarian cooperation.

A groundbreaking ceremony with religious blessing for a Russian-Serbian humanitarian center took place two weeks ago, Dodik said. Hopefully, the center will be completed as early as 2019, he said.

Dodik thanked Putin for "the principled position on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina," "because others, primarily the Westerners, are not as principled."