Milorad Dodik has been ‘motivated by his own self-interest,’ and threatens both national and regional stability, says US.
WASHINGTON (AA) – The US sanctioned on Wednesday Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, and three others, for allegedly partaking in widespread destabilizing and corrupt activities.
Dodik, who is one of three members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, was blacklisted alongside his personal television channel, Alternativna Televizija d.o.o. Banja Luka (ATV), the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The US accuses Dodik of working to undermine the country’s presidency, and seeking to undo the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The fragile nation that was created in the early 1990’s in the wake of the bloody Bosnian War has seen a separatist push since Dodik blasted legal changes banning the denial of genocide and the glorification of war criminals.
Dodik, in turn, pushed for the legislature in his fiefdom, known as the Republika Srpska, to take separatist steps in the army, judiciary, and tax systems if the changes are not reversed.
The steps have been internationally criticized for violating the 1995 Dayton Accords, which brought an end to the Bosnian War, and undermining the country’s Constitution.
Republika Srpska is one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Treasury Department’s Terrorism and Financial Intelligence chief, Brian Nelson, said Dodik’s secessionist steps have been “motivated by his own self-interest,” and threatens both national and regional stability.
“The United States will not hesitate to act against those who pursue corruption, destabilization, and division at the expense of their own people, as well as against those who enable and facilitate this behavior,” he said in a statement.
The Biden administration separately sanctioned three current and former Bosnia and Herzegovina officials, including former High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) President Milan Tegeltija, and the President of the Movement for Democratic Action (PDA) and Parliamentary Assembly Representative Mirsad Kukic for “significant corruption.”
Both of the officials have been placed under visa sanctions, making them ineligible for US entry, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.