“Although he is now one of Bosnia’s three presidents, US sanctions against Milorad Dodik will not be lifted as Washington remains committed to Bosnia’s sovereignty and to the peace agreement, Deputy US State Secretary John Sullivan said at a press conference in Sarajevo on Monday.

Dodik, the Bosnian Serb leader who prior to taking over a seat in the Presidency ran the Serb-dominated semi-autonomous region of Republika Srpska (RS), has been advocating for its secession and remains blacklisted by the US since 2017 for obstructing the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the Bosnian war.

The US has not changed its position regarding the sanctions against Dodik and Sullivan stressed that he greeted him because he respects the Presidency as an institution and that he ‘dealt with Mr Dodik on that basis.’

‘The US Government will always react strongly to any threats to the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina,’ he added.

‘We are committed to this country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in line with the 1995 Dayton Agreement,’ Sullivan said. ‘Working together, the US, Europe and other partners will deal firmly with those who seek to undermine those principles in any way, and that should include for the worst offenders coordinated sanctions on their ability to travel and on individually held assets.'” (N1)

“On Monday in Sarajevo, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan urged Bosnia and Herzegovina’s three presidency members – Milorad Dodik, Sefik Dzaferovic, and Zeljko Komsic – to accelerate the country’s political, judicial, and economic reforms and its integration into Western institutions. In particular, he urged the presidents to make further progress toward NATO by supporting the submission of its Annual National Program. The Deputy Secretary emphasized the importance to domestic and regional stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina strengthening rule of law and combating corruption.

While in Sarajevo, Deputy Secretary Sullivan also met with members of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Council of Ministers Collegium – Chairman Denis Zvizdic, Minister of Finance Vjekoslav Bevanda, and Minister of Security Dragan Mektic. Additionally, he convened discussions with Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak and Defense Minister Marina Pendes.” (US Department of State)