Treasury sanctions network connected to separatist Bosnian leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — A network of people and firms that support the sanctioned president of Bosnia’s Serb-run portion, Milorad Dodik, has been hit with a new round of sanctions.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday designated two people and seven companies that provide revenue for Dodik and his family, including his son Igor Dodik.

Treasury says Dodik used his presidency to direct government contracts to a network of private companies that he and his son oversee.

Dodik was initially sanctioned by the U.S. in 2022 when the Biden administration accused him of “corrupt activities” that threatened to destabilize the region and undermine a U.S.-brokered peace accord from more than 25 years ago. A set of sanctions were imposed on a network of people connected to Dodik last October.

Dodik, who has been calling for the separation of the Serb entity from the rest of Bosnia for over a decade, has had Russia’s support.

There are widespread fears in the U.S. that Russia is trying to destabilize Bosnia and the rest of the region to shift at least some world attention from its war in Ukraine.

Brian Nelson, Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said, "We will continue to expose the fraudulent schemes that enable Dodik and his family to exploit their own people for their personal benefit.”

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Radul Radovanovic contributed to this report.

Fatima Hussein, The Associated Press