Reactions followed after the United States (U.S.) imposed sanctions on Dodik, Kukic, ATV, Tijana, and Milan Tegeltija due to corrupt activities and the continuous threat to the stability and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Reactions were, as expected, divided. And while some welcome the moves of the Americans, others resent it.
Sanctioned Milorad Dodik blames the U.S. for everything again, and it is imposing sanctions on him for the third time. Apart from being a threat to the country’s stability, Dodik was also sanctioned this time for corruption: “They forbade me something, but this is the third time. What’s new here? Nothing. What is new is that the story of me destroying Dayton and the Constitution has now been added to the story of corruption. I am a politician for whom there is no such process to be conducted in Republika Srpska (RS) and BiH or in the U.S. So U.S. is arrogant and ignores the fact that no one can be guilty until proven guilty. “
While Dodik says he is not guilty, insiders warn of what Milorad Dodik’s policies have done to RS and BiH.
“An oligarchy was created around Milorad Dodik, which literally left devastation behind, it devastated the RS itself, so those stories about the alleged attack on RS, Serbs, protection of national interests are empty stories,” said prof. dr. Zijad Becirovic, Director of the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES).
Dodik’s colleague from the Presidency of BiH, Sefik Dzaferovic, and also other representatives of the parties from the Federation, welcome the decision on sanctions and hope that they are a warning to others with similar policies. Dzaferovic called on other countries to join the sanctions: “This is a clear message that the destruction of state institutions, as the foundation of peace and stability, will not be tolerated. Also, this is a clear message to Dodik that he cannot expect any reward, but only a harsh punishment for attacking the constitutional order and blocking institutions. “
At the same time, after the meeting with the U.S. Ambassador Eric Nelson, the SDP, in addition to positively assessing the sanctions, also sent a message that they do not apply to nations but only to individuals.
“Maybe this will be a message to other politicians not to behave like that, and maybe this will be the last sanctions if people see it,” stated SDP Vice President Zukan Helez.
Reactions from the RS opposition are also arriving. Independent deputy Nebojsa Vukanovic said sanctions will give Dodik wings. At the same time, SDS leader Mirko Sarovic stated that sanctions will be felt by individuals – politicians in RS, primarily Dodik, but also the economy in this entity.
Those familiar with the situation think that they will have an effect in the end because of the support of other countries. Criticisms were also shown towards the BiH judiciary.
“Sanctions will have some initial significance in terms of engaging other institutions, primarily the European Union (EU)and its members, and the United Kingdom (UK), but also domestic actors in BiH who need to do their part,” explained Prof. dr. Alija Kozljak, Head of the IBU Department of International Relations and European Studies.
Becirovic added: “The tragedy of the latest U.S. administration sanctions against Milorad Dodik and others is that the judiciary of BiH received the biggest slap and humiliation, because if the BiH judiciary were to act, then BiH would be a state governed by the rule of law, and these sanctions would certainly not occur, because the BiH judiciary would prosecute the perpetrators.“
Sanctions were imposed on some people, while for others, they represent only a warning. Now everyone is waiting for the U.S.list to be updated. Everyone is wondering who is next?