March 14, 2024

U.S. sanctions three officials in Republika Srpska for organizing an event that undermined the Dayton Peace Agreement

On March 13, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated three individuals for supporting Republika Srpska (“RS”) President Milorad Dodik and his efforts to undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement (“DPA”), an instrument that has played a critical role in maintaining peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”).  OFAC reported that the three designees were members of a committee that organized and executed the celebration of “Republika Srpska Day” on January 9, 2024, an event that was deemed unconstitutional because it prioritized “the religious heritage, tradition, and customs of only the Serb people” in violation of the constitutional obligation of non-discrimination.  The High Representative also indicated that the celebration was a “clear and direct failure to implement the final and binding decision of the BiH Constitutional Court,” which constitutes a criminal offense under the BiH Criminal Code.

According to OFAC, Dodik appointed and personally directed the planning committee that organized the RS Day celebrations in the RS.  The United States designated Dodik in 2017 pursuant to Executive Order 13304 for actively obstructing or posing a significant risk of actively obstructing the DPA and then again in 2022 pursuant to EO 14033, which targets those responsible for or complicit in threatening the implementation of any regional peace or cooperation agreement related to the Western Balkans.

The three RS officials were designated by OFAC pursuant to EO 14033 for acting on behalf of Dodik or for engaging in a violation or act that has obstructed or threatened the DPA.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  U.S. persons may also face civil or criminal penalties for violating EO 14033.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release