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Hungary Backs Bosnian Serb Wind Farm

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on October 2 after meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest that Hungary may take over infrastructure projects that Germany suspended in the Bosnia-Herzegovina's Serb-dominted entity over Dodik's secessionist policies.

Germany in August announced a decision to suspend four infrastructure projects in Republika Srpska worth a total of 105 million euros ($110 million).

Dodik said Orban "expressed his willingness to substitute projects that Germany canceled.“

But he said Germany still considered the contracts active, while Republika Srpska waits for Berlin to resolve so that the entity can "can realize these projects with the Hungarians and Prime Minister Orban in the best possible way and for mutual benefit."

Among the projects is the construction of a wind farm in Berkovici, a municipality in the far southeast of Bosnia. Additionally, Germany has suspended its work on the renovation of a hydroelectric power plant near Trebinje in the far south and a wastewater-treatment initiative in Gradiska in the north.

Republika Srpska previously sought financial assistance from the Export-Import Bank of Hungary, borrowing a total of 110 million euros at the end of the previous year. Hungary is also providing an aid program for farmers in Republika Srpska valued at 100 million euros.

Orban, a crucial ally for Dodik, has blocked European Union sanctions against the pro-Russian president of the Serbian member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, which also includes a Bosniak Muslim and an ethnic Croat.

Bosnia is still governed under the terms of a 1995 peace treaty known as the Dayton accords that divided the country into a Bosniak and Croat federation and a Serb-majority entity.

Dodik was designated for sanctions by the United States and Britain last year after saying that Republika Srpska would pull out of the Western Balkan country's joint military, top judiciary body, and tax administration.

Dodik also currently faces an indictment over a push to ignore decisions by international envoy Christian Schmidt and the Constitutional Court.

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His meeting with Orban in Budapest was their third official meeting in the past year. They previously met in the Hungarian capital in August and in October 2022 and in Banja Luka in June.

Dodik also made a controversial trip to Moscow last year for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After his meeting with Orban, he said he would meet again with Putin "soon."

By RFE/RL

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