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Republika Srpska's Prime Minister on EU criticism: 'So what?'

On this week's 'Conflict Zone with Tim Sebastian,' Zeljka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, was unwilling to call the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 a case of genocide.

In an exclusive DW interview, she rejected criticism from the EU by saying her country "has never been treated properly by outsiders.

"There was a terrible, massive crime committed in Srebrenica," Zeljka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, one of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said. She defended the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, who had described the massacre as "the greatest deception of the 20th century," saying that Dodik "probably had reasons to define it that way."

Cvijanovic expressed her anger towards international media saying: "My understanding is that you are trying to portray us as bunch, a group of rebels in this country. But I can tell you that this is like a very stable institutional set up, speaking about Republika Srpska."

When asked why Republika Srpska is so out of step with the European Union on so many issues, despite its aspiration to become an EU member, Cvijanovic said: "So what? I'm saying something else. (…) We are not a member of the European Union. We don’t have any obligation now at this moment to fully comply with whatever."

Zeljka Cvijanovic, born in 1967, is a professor of English language and literature and holds a master's degree in diplomatic and consular law. Before becoming Prime Minister of Republika Srpska in March 2013, Cvijanovic was Minister of Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation.

DW's Tim Sebastian invites national and international decision-makers to his weekly DW show. "Conflict Zone" airs every Wednesday at 17.30 UTC and is available online on demand.

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Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

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