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Biden administration sanctions Bosnian Serb leader, citing corruption

The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Bosnian Serb chief Milorad Dodik, citing his “destabilizing corrupt activities” within the Western Balkans.

The Treasury Department accused Dodik of undermining a 1995 peace accord and fascinating in corruption and bribery. It additionally introduced sanctions focusing on Alternativna Televizija, a media platform the administration stated is beneath the chief’s management.

“Milorad Dodik’s destabilizing corrupt activities and attempts to dismantle the Dayton Peace Accords, motivated by his own self-interest, threaten the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire region,” Brian Nelson, Treasury’s beneath secretary for terrorism and monetary intelligence, stated in a press release Wednesday morning.

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“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,” Nelson stated.

The choice is a big step for the Biden administration to punish Dodik, whose actions specialists and worldwide leaders have warned may result in battle within the Balkan nation. 

Dodik, a member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, has advocated for separating the Bosnian Serb entity from the remainder of the nation. He has threatened to withdraw from Bosnia’s military and type his personal Serb military. Such actions can be a violation of the 1995 U.S.-backed peace settlement between the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia that ended the conflict in Bosnia.

The Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Dodik in January 2017, accusing him of “actively obstructing” the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords. Officials stated that the brand new motion would construct on the earlier sanctions.

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In the brand new announcement, Treasury alleged that Alternativna Televizija is owned by an organization linked to Dodik’s household however that Dodik exerts management over the media outlet behind the scenes, together with by requiring approval for politically delicate tales and utilizing it to advance his picture and tarnish different political figures. 

Treasury additionally stated that Dodik has funneled cash to the media firm for corrupt functions and awarded contracts to members of his household.

Also on Wednesday, the State Department publicly designated Milan Tegeltija, the previous head of Bosnia’s High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and an adviser to Dodik, and Mirsad Kukic, a lawmaker and chief of the conservative political celebration Movement for Democratic Action, due to their involvement in “significant corruption.”

The motion signifies that the 2 people will likely be barred from entry within the United States. 

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Updated at 11:29 a.m.

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