Newsweek has a piece this morning centered on an interview with Milorad Dodik, the leader of Republika Srpska. Republika Srpska, also known as the Bosnian Serb Republic, is an autonomous region within the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (It is not part of Serbia.) And Dodik would like to hold a Crimea-style referndum on secession.
The federation that uneasily wedded Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Serb Republic was created in the Dayton negotiations, which ended Europe’s bloodiest war since the 1940s. According to Dodik, the union was artificially created by outsiders, is frustrating to the Serbs and is doomed to fail.
“We don’t have anything useful that we can get from Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he says. On its own, he believes, Republika Srpska can do better financially and even integrate with Europe faster than if it remains in the union.
Dodik apparently prefers to compare his push to movements in Scotland and Catalonia rather than the violent situation in Crimea, which seems like a good sign. On the other hand, he met with Russia's foreign minister on the weekend of Crimea's vote, and Russia has not shown a lot of interest in military stability recently.
Incidentally, it is always odd to be reminded that the historic 1995 agreement that would determine the fate of the Balkans for decades was negotiated and signed in the sixth-largest city in Ohio.