The Bosnian Presidency's Serb member, Milorad Dodik, said on Wednesday that US sanctions would not dissuade him from his conduct and policy, while the Bosniak member, Sefik Dzaferovic, called on the EU to resort to sanctions as well.
After the United States Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions against Dodik and his legal advisor Milan Tegeltija for “jeopardizing the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina” and involvement in corruption, the executive committee of the SNSD party held an extraordinary meeting.
Speaking to the press in Banja Luka afterwards, Dodik said the US accused him without any evidence, reproaching the US for meddling in BiH’s internal affairs, “overtly supporting Muslims and the opposition” for the purpose of destabilizing Republika Srpska, BiH’s Serb entity which, according to him, is the only sustainable one as BiH will break up.
“They want to create a state for the Muslims and that’s the problem,” Dodik said. Dodik has been banned from travelling to the US since 2017, when he was designated as a person directly threatening the Dayton peace agreement.
Dodik said the world was in chaos and that in such a situation the US wanted to set standards that were unacceptable to him, calling US Ambassador to BiH Eric Nelson a liar.
Dodik said he expected Germany to join in the US policy of sanctions, but added that this would not prevent him from pursuing his policy of ensuring as much independence for Republika Srpska and eventually secession from BiH. Dodik said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told him Serbia would not support any sanctions.
Commenting on the sanctions against Dodik, Dzaferovic said they were a clear message that a policy leading to the destruction of BiH’s state institutions would not be tolerated.
“I encourage and call on European Union member states and our other international partners and friends around the world to support this action and join in. If Dodik continues to work on destroying the state and peace, the sanctions should be expanded and reinforced as of tomorrow and they should hit increasingly sharply the widest circle of his associates as possible,” he said.
British Ambassador to BiH Matthew Field tweeted that the UK supported the sanctions against Dodik. “Destabilizing activities and corruption threaten 26 years of progress. The UK will continue to work with Allies to support BiH.”