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Ambassador Nelson’s Video Message Regarding Latest U.S. Government Actions
January 5, 2022

Today, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on Milorad Dodik and Alternativna Televizija, a media entity under his control, for corrupt activities and continued attempts to threaten the stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Milorad Dodik’s destabilizing actions, corruption, and attempts to undermine the Dayton Peace Accords threaten the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire region.

Today’s action by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the first use of the expanded Executive Order 14033, underscores the Biden Administration’s commitment to the Western Balkans region and to holding accountable those who would undermine the Dayton Peace Accords and participate in corrupt activities.

Additionally, today, the U.S. Department of State announced that former Bosnia and Herzegovina High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) President Milan Tegeltija and the President of the Movement for Democratic Action (PDA) and Parliamentary Assembly Representative Mirsad Kukic are ineligible for entry into the United States due to their involvement in significant corruption. The actions of Tegeltija and Kukic undermined the rule of law and the public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes.  As a result, they have been designated under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2021.

Dodik, Tegeltija, and Kukic have all shamelessly abused their positions to enrich themselves, their families, their political cronies, and the patronage networks they exploit.  Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an existential threat to the very fabric of the state built over the last 26 years, and to the country’s Euro-Atlantic future.

The actions taken today by the U.S. government are a warning to those that would threaten the stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina for their personal or political goals.  We will continue to evaluate which further sanctions are necessary to fight the endemic corruption that undermines this country’s potential or to make clear that actions such as adoption of the new Republika Srpska Law on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices are unacceptable attacks on the state and on the stability of the country.  The United States will not hesitate to act against those who pursue corruption, destabilization, and division at the expense of the people of BiH, as well as those who enable and facilitate this behavior through personal activities and the companies and business entities they exploit.

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