The US sanctioned Milorad Dodik for "destabilizing" Bosnia

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source: www.theguardian.com

The US sanctioned Milorad Dodik for "destabilizing" Bosnia.

The Treasury Department blocked all the properties in the United States of the Bosnian Serb leader, who had already been reprimanded in 2017 for violating the Dayton Peace Accords.

On Wednesday, the United States Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and a media outlet for their "continuous threats" to stability and the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in the Balkans two decades ago.

With this measure, the Treasury Department blocked all the properties in the United States of Dodik, which had already been sanctioned in 2017 for the same matter.

In a statement, the US government accused Dodik, the Serbian co-chairman of the Bosnian presidential list, of having "undermined the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina by calling for the taking of state powers and setting in motion the creation of parallel institutions. "

He also claimed that the Bosnian Serb leader "has used his official position in Bosnia and Herzegovina to accumulate personal wealth through bribery and other forms of corruption."

"These actions threaten the stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and undermine the Dayton Peace Accords, thereby running the risk of further regional instability," he warned.

The sanctions are also directed against Alternativna Televizija ( ATV ), a media outlet linked to Dodik's family, used by the Bosnian Serb leader to "promote" his agenda and "polish his public image."

At the same time, the State Department prohibited the former president of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council Milan Tegeltija and the president of the Movement for Democratic Action, Mirsad Kukic, from entering the United States for "their participation in acts of corruption."

Bosnia and Herzegovina comprises two autonomous entities, the so-called Republika Srpska, with a Serbian majority, and the Federation of Muslims and Croats, divided into ten cantons.

The crisis has intensified in recent weeks with Milorad Dodik's plan to declare Banja Luka the capital of the Republika Srpska when the country's Constitution only recognizes Sarajevo as the sole joint capital of Bosnians, Muslims, and Croats.

Dodik also called for "withdrawing consent" to the laws passed between 2003 and 2005 that established the central Bosnian army, judiciary, and tax system.

The decade-long leader of the Bosnian Serbs has gone from being the West's favorite politician in Bosnia to being a friend of the Hungarian ultra-nationalist Viktor Orbán and having the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.