Serbs are not a divided people but others want to divide them, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on Tuesday, speaking at a highway opening ceremony.
“Those who want peace build the highways and those who don't they build up the military forces. We are not a divided people, but the others want to divide us. We are not Bosnian Serbs, we are the Serbs, very much the Serbs. We're not giving up on that,” said Dodik, who is also the President of Bosnia's Serb-dominated entity, Republika Srpska (RS).
The opening of the last and 25-kilometres long highway section Drugovici-Prnjavor made the road operational. The first and the longest section between the towns of Prnjavor and Doboj was opened in 2016 and another one, which included the Mahovljani interchange construction a year later.
“We have opened a series of important local projects. Tomorrow we're opening a power plant, a day later a hospital in Istocno Sarajevo. (…) This integrates us in a great idea called RS,” Dodik said.
According to him, there was a lot of resistance to this project but it only proved how the Serbs gathered around an idea.
“Once the highway on the Drina river is finished, that will be a project of national integration,” said Dodik, referring to the Drina river as to the border with Serbia.
Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic addressed the ceremony, stressing that anyone who attempts to destroy RS have to be aware that Serbia will not be sitting idly.
“I'm very honoured and pleased to be here with you. I always feel uncomfortable to be in RS as a foreign affairs minister, for these are not foreign affairs but our internal affairs, among the Serb people,” he stressed.
Dacic said Serbia would not interfere with the voting in Bosnia but would interfere in “the survival of the Serb people on this territory.”
“Your main project is to preserve what you had gained with blood during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the minister, adding that the many are using the election campaign to improve their rating through an “anti-Serb campaign” and “constant accusing of RS and Dodik's leadership as a disturbing factor.”
“I am a minister, I am not someone who knows to speak about roads, but what matters here is that all roads lead to Belgrade,” Dacic concluded.
The main investor in the highway construction project was RS public enterprise Autoputevi RS and the works were performed jointly by local companies Integral Inzenjering and Granit.