(Belga) The European Union does not rule out sanctions against Milorad Dodik, the separatist leader of the Bosnian Serbs already sanctioned by the United States on Wednesday, as well as a significant reduction in its financial aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a hinted at the European Commission on Thursday.
We must “put an end to all unacceptable initiatives that call into question the unity of the country as well as its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a spokesperson for the European executive at the daily press conference. “It is the stability and prosperity of the country that are at stake, as well as the process of integrating the country into the EU,” warned Ana Pisonero, spokesperson in charge of the neighborhood and development policy. enlargement. The United States on Wednesday imposed financial sanctions on Milorad Dodik, accused of “threatening the stability” of the Balkans as well as corruption. This member of the Bosnian collegiate presidency, who controls a television channel in Banja Luka, the capital of the Serbian entity, accelerated the implementation of his separatist project in December. On December 10, the Parliament of the Bosnian Serb entity gave the government of this entity six months to legally organize its departure from three crucial institutions common to the central state: the army, the judiciary and the taxes. Milorad Dodik seems to have the support of Moscow. If the European Commission “continues to encourage leaders to resolve the situation through dialogue”, it nonetheless recalled Thursday that “all the tools available to the Union are on the agenda”. Among them, the framework of sanctions which would make it possible to adopt restrictive measures “against those who seriously threaten security in Bosnia and Herzegovina and who undermine the Dayton peace accords”, signed in 1995 to end the conflict in the former Yugoslav Republic. Any sanctions would require unanimous agreement of EU member states (Council). The Union can also act through its financial assistance to this country in the Western Balkans, if progress is not noted in the reforms required (fight against corruption and organized crime, economy, functioning of democratic institutions and the public administration, etc.). As such, “Bosnia and Herzegovina risks losing a considerable part of the aid if no action is taken”, stressed the spokesperson. (Belga)