Geopolitical Strife Fuels Dangerous Parallel Crises in Balkans

In the midst of Russia's failed mutiny, Dodik - one of the few politicians in the world who in past years has met Putin regularly, almost every year - may have tried to draw the Kremlin to support his two-decade-long separatist dream, some officials have said. 

Meanwhile, recent elections in Turkey have cemented the domestic position of Turkey's conservative president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and opened space for his even greater involvement in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia, Turkish experts say.

Lengthy drama over court takes new twist Milorad Dodik. Photo: EPA-EFE/SZILARD KOSZTICSAK HUNGARY OUT

The new law in Republika Srpska is a fresh phase in the lengthy drama over the fate of Constitutional Court in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For more than a decade, Dodik has threatened to block or abolish this body because three out of its nine members are foreign judges appointed by the European Court of Human Rights. 

According to Dodik, this setup was not a part of the original 1995 Dayton peace accord that ended the 1992-5 Bosnian war and is often used to outvote the two judges from Republika Srpska. 

By the end of 2022, the work of Bosnia's Constitutional Court became even more burdened after one Bosnian Serb and one Bosnian Croat judge took obligatory retirement at 70 years of age. 

Since then, Dodik has blocked the appointment of a new Bosnian Serb judge and repeatedly urged the remaining Bosnian Serb judge, Zlatko Knezevic, to leave the court. Despite the pressure, Knezevic has remained in the office but has announced he will take early retirement by the end of 2023. 

The situation became even more complicated after the court on June 19 altered its quorum requirements, enabling decisions to be made with only...

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