Britain announced sanctions on Monday against Bosnian-Serb politicians Milorad Dodik and Zeljka Cvijanovic, who are accused of “deliberately undermining the hard-won peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
The measures, which include asset freezes and travel bans, come in response to political activity that the UK claims amounts to “de facto secession of Republika Srpska [from Bosnia and Herzegovina] in direct contravention of the country’s constitution.” Cvijanovic is president of Republika Srpska, a constituent entity of Bosnia Herzegovina. Dodik serves as the Bosnian-Serb member of the state’s three-person presidency.
The pair are believed to be “emboldened by Russia’s undermining of the international rules-based system” and “encouraged by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” the UK Foreign Office said in a Monday press release, which also accuses both of “genocide denial.”
“Their reckless behavior threatens stability and security across the Western Balkans,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss claimed.
Dodik, whom the UK accuses of “divisive, dangerous, nationalist rhetoric” as well as “undermining domestic and regional peace and encouraging ethnic hatred,” was sanctioned by the US back in January, which froze his assets and deemed him “a significant threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”