AP

US scoffs as Bosnian Serb leader claims he can spy on US

Sep 15, 2022, 5:19 AM | Updated: 6:56 am

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo on Thursday described claims by the Bosnian Serb leader that his security services are eavesdropping on the American ambassador to Sarajevo as “blustering” and added that his separatist policies are “gambling” with the future of the Serb entity in the Balkan state.

Milorad Dodik, a member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, claimed at a pre-election rally Wednesday that the Bosnian Serb spying agency is now capable of listening to the conversations by U.S. Ambassador Michael Murphy and his staff.

“We also listening in on to them now, it’s not only them listening in on us,” Dodik told his supporters. “I know what they are talking about.”

He said this was not possible to do this just a few years ago.

“What we say in private is the same as what we say in public — the United States remains committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and multiethnic character and we will respond to any destabilizing, anti-Dayton activity,” the U.S. Embassy tweeted, referring to a 1995 peace deal reached in Dayton, Ohio, between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats that ended a war that left at least 100,000 people dead and millions homeless.

Although the peace deal ended the bloodshed, it left Bosnia deeply divided between the Bosniak-Croat federation and the Serb entity called Republika Srpska. Dodik has openly been striving to split the Serb entity from Bosnia and join it with neighboring Serbia.

“All of Mr. Dodik’s blustering cannot change the fundamental fact that the RS is not a state. It is one of BiH’s two entities,” the embassy tweet said. “His pursuit of an “Independent Srpska in BIH” isn’t protecting the RS or its residents, it is gambling with their future.”

Dodik, known for his staunchly pro-Russian stance, has been under U.S. financial and travel sanctions since January after the Biden administration accused him of “corrupt activities” that threaten to destabilize the region.

Media in Bosnia say Dodik is among politicians in more than two dozen countries who since 2014 were paid by Russia in exchange for exerting pro-Kremlin influence. According to a newly declassified review by U.S. intelligence agencies Russia has spent at least $300 million to sway both politics and policy in those states.

There are fears in the West that Russia is — through the Bosnian Serbs and its Balkan ally Serbia — working on destabilizing Bosnia to shift at least part of world attention from its war on Ukraine.

Celebrating a recently established holiday that promotes Serb unity in the Balkans, Dodik said joining Serbia remains the main goal for Bosnian Serbs.

“Today Serbs have two states, Republika Srpska and Serbia, but we will always strive to fight for unity,” he said.

Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic attended the celebrations in northern Bosnia on Thursday, saying “the historical moment demands that we unite and together defeat the madness that can turn these regions into a slaughterhouse again.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

21 hours ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

2 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

4 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

8 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

18 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

US scoffs as Bosnian Serb leader claims he can spy on US