United States imposes sanctions against Milorad Dodik

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against Republika Srpska’s leader, Milorad Dodik, saying that he is actively obstructing efforts on implementation of the 1995 Dayton accords that ended the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The sanctions imposed on January 17 by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) allow U.S. authorities to block access by Dodik to any of his property or assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

The president of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb entity has been criticized by Western powers for pushing forward with so-called Republika Srpska Statehood celebrations on 9th January.

The celebrations were staged in Banja Luka in violation of a court order from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s capital, Sarajevo, and warnings from the West that the activities threaten the country’s unity and constitutional order.

John Smith, the acting director of OFAC, said that “by obstructing the Dayton accords, Milorad Dodik poses a significant threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.”

The sanctions came several weeks after the leader of Bosnian Serbs said he had been invited to Friday’s swearing-in of President-elect Donald Trump, but was refused a diplomatic visa by the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo.

As it turned out, the invitation was to a private ball sponsored by religious and conservative groups. He said he would seek a regular U.S. visa.

The imposition of the sanctions “have nothing to do with the visa request,” said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding that the invitation to the ball was extended to Dodik by a congressman.

(Radio Free Europe, Reuters, 17.01.2017)

http://www.rferl.org/a/dodik-republika-srpska-united-states-sanctions/28239895.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sanctions-bosnia-dodik-idUSKBN1512WI

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