UK slams sanctions on two Bosnian-Serb politicians
UK has today sanctioned Milorad Dodik, Bosnian-Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-level Presidency, and Zeljka Cvijanovic, President of the entity of Republika Srpska, for their destabilising activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The designations, which include travel bans and asset freezes, are the first under the UK’s Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions regime.
Emboldened by Russia’s undermining of the international rules-based system, both individuals have used their positions of authority to push for de facto secession of Republika Srpska – one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s two entities – in direct contravention of the country’s constitution.
Milorad Dodik has driven action to withdraw Republika Srpska from key State institutions, using divisive, dangerous, nationalist rhetoric, undermining domestic and regional peace and encouraging ethnic hatred and genocide denial.
Meanwhile, in October 2021, Zeljka Cvijanovic used her office to table legislation in Republika Srpska seeking to transfer state competencies to the entity level. Cvijanovic has publicly glorified war criminals and denied the genocide at Srebrenica.
Working in coordination with the US and other like-minded partners, the Foreign Secretary hopes today’s announcement will encourage other nations to apply similar restrictive measures which hold politicians to account for their destabilising and dangerous behaviour.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “These two politicians are deliberately undermining the hard won peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Encouraged by Putin, their reckless behaviour threatens stability and security across the Western Balkans.
“With these tough sanctions we are showing that the enemies of peace will be held to account.”
The UK says that Dodik and Cvijanovic’s actions and rhetoric threaten to undo 26 years of hard-won peace and stability, and undermine the General Framework Agreement for Peace (Dayton Peace Agreement), which brought hostilities to an end in 1995.