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Foreign Ministry: US complicates Balkan settlement with sanctions against Srpska president

January 18, 19:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian ministry believes the sanctions against President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik are an attempt by the administration of Barack Obama to complicate the Balkan settlement

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MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. The US sanctions against President of Republika Srpska (part of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Milorad Dodik are an attempt by the administration of Barack Obama to complicate the efforts for the Balkan settlement, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"We resolutely denounce this tendentious step," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

"We consider it as a new evidence of feverish attempts by the outgoing administration of Barack Obama to artificially complicate further international efforts for the post-conflict settlement in the Balkans and some other regions," the statement said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called as inconsistent the arguments of the US side "which is seeking with its one-sided actions to artificially shift the entire responsibility for the stalled stabilization process in Bosnia and Herzegovina to Dodik and Bosnian Serbs to camouflage its own miscalculations of the past years in the Bosnian direction," the statement said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that work with all the sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be carried out strictly on the basis of observing the country’s sovereignty and encouraging local leaders for a constructive dialog in accordance with the 1995 Dayton Agreement and confirmed Moscow’s readiness for joint work for implementing its provisions.

"We consider it important to continue the course agreed as part of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council towards winding down the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina that has used up its resource and finally transfer into Bosnians’ hands all the levers of governing their country," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The US Department of the Treasury announced on Tuesday it imposed sanctions against President of Republika Srpska Dodik pursuant to the executive order, which authorizes "sanctions against individuals and entities who have actively obstructed or who pose a significant risk of actively obstructing the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace (the Dayton Accords)."

As the US Department of the Treasury said, Dodik "was actively obstructing" the document’s implementation.

"Milorad Dodik poses a significant threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Acting Director of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control John Smith said on January 17.

"Today’s action underscores the U.S. commitment to the Dayton Accords and supports international efforts for the country’s continued European integration," he said.

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