Menu Home

State & Treasury Department Statements on OFAC Balkans designations

From State:

Designation of Officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Anti-Dayton Behavior

PRESS STATEMENT

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

JUNE 6, 2022Share

The United States is designating Marinko Cavara and Alen Seranic, both of whom have obstructed or threatened the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and have undermined Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) democratic processes or institutions.  They continue to pursue ethno-nationalist interests at the expense of the peace, stability, and prosperity of their country.  These destabilizing activities undermine BiH’s chosen future within the Euro-Atlantic community and prevent the country and its citizens from realizing their full potential.

BiH is facing its most serious crisis since 1995, constrained by ethno-nationalist political parties sustained by patronage networks.  The ruling coalition in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity is moving to establish parallel structures that undermine the authority of state-level institutions, and leaders of the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina are crippling the country’s democratic processes.

Marinko Cavara and Alen Seranic are being designated pursuant to Executive Order 14033 and for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans.  Cavara’s refusal to nominate judges to fill vacancies on the Federation of BiH (FBiH) Constitutional Court has blocked the function of the Court’s Vital National Interest panel, a body of FBiH Constitutional Court judges created by 2002 amendments to the FBiH Constitution by the High Representative for BiH that is intended to address key issues raised by delegates in the FBiH House of Peoples.  This has prevented key reforms and hindered democratic processes or institutions.  Such failures in governance impact the well-being, prosperity, and rights of citizens across the FBiH.  Seranic furthered efforts to create an RS entity-level agency for medicines and medical devices that will undermine the state-level Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices and is an attack on BiH’s constitutional order.  The United States strongly urges RS leadership to respect the Dayton Peace Agreement and return to work within existing state institutions and to reverse efforts to create illegal parallel institutions in the RS.

The United States will continue to use all of its authorities to promote accountability for those who undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement and democracy in the Western Balkans.

From Treasury:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Designates Two Senior Officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Destabilizing Behavior

June 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two prominent officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033. This OFAC action, the third taken under E.O. 14033, targets Marinko Cavara, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina President, and Alen Seranic, the Republika Srpska Minister of Health and Social Welfare, who have threatened the stability of the region by undermining the Dayton Peace Accords and democratic processes or institutions.

Today’s action reinforces the United States’ commitment to promoting accountability in the Western Balkans, including for those officials who undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans and thereby threaten the peace, stability, and prosperity of their countries.

“Marinko Cavara and Alen Seranic have each sought to pursue ethnonationalist and political agendas at the expense of the democratic institutions and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ steadfast commitment to the stability and prosperity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH, also known as the Dayton Peace Accords, was a hard-won achievement following a war that took an estimated 100,000 lives in the country. The Dayton Peace Accords, which include the present-day constitution of BiH, continue to be the basis for BiH’s structure of government. Twenty-seven years later, BiH continues to face challenges from those who manipulate their positions of power, including in favor of their own personal or political interests. As established in the Dayton Peace Accords, BiH consists of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Republika Srpska (RS).

Blocking the Functionality of the FBiH

Marinko Cavara (Cavara), the FBiH President, is responsible for nominating judges to the FBiH Constitutional Court. Since 2019, Cavara has refused to nominate judges from lists of candidates provided by the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council to fill vacancies on the Court. By refusing to proceed with these nominations, Cavara has blocked the function of the Court’s Vital National Interest (VNI) panel, a body of a certain number and composition of FBiH Constitutional Court judges created by 2002 amendments to the FBiH Constitution by the High Representative for BiH. The VNI Panel is intended to address key issues raised by delegates in the FBiH House of Peoples. It plays a crucial role in the constitutional operation of the FBiH, and its existence is necessary for the fulfilment of the FBiH’s democratic functions. Through his inaction, Cavara has held hostage the function of the VNI panel to further his and his party’s political interests.

Cavara was designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, a violation of or an act that has obstructed or threatened the implementation of any regional security, peace, cooperation, or mutual recognition agreement or framework or accountability mechanism related to the Western Balkans, including the Prespa Agreement of 2018; the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001; United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244; the Dayton Accords; the Conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference Council held in London in December 1995, including the decisions or conclusions of the High Representative, the Peace Implementation Council, or its Steering Board; or the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or, with respect to the former Yugoslavia, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

Cavara was additionally designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans.

Advancing Republika Srpska Secessionist Efforts

As part of the U.S. commitment to countering destabilizing activity in BiH, Treasury recently designated the Bosnian Serb member of BiH’s tri-presidency, Milorad Dodik (Dodik), pursuant to E.O. 14033. Dodik has sought to further the secession of the Republika Srpska (RS) by undermining the authorities of BiH state-level institutions, including the state-level Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices. Today, OFAC designated Alen Seranic (Seranic), the RS Minister of Health and Social Welfare, to further address this destabilizing behavior.

Seranic furthered the secessionist efforts of the RS for leading the implementation of the RS Law on Medicines and Medicinal Products, which his Ministry submitted to the RS National Assembly for consideration. This law, which has yet to take effect, would establish a new medicines agency solely within the RS, and would thus disrupt the authority of the state-level Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices. Seranic has publicly admitted that this law mirrors the functions of the state-level medicines agency, except that the agency it creates transfers authority from the state-level agency to a regulatory authority for medicines and medical products within the RS. Because a state-level institution exists and serves the RS and FBiH, the establishment of this new entity-level agency obstructs or threatens the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords.

Seranic was designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, a violation of or an act that has obstructed or threatened the implementation of any regional security, peace, cooperation, or mutual recognition agreement or framework or accountability mechanism related to the Western Balkans, including the Prespa Agreement of 2018; the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001; United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244; the Dayton Accords; the Conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference Council held in London in December 1995, including the decisions or conclusions of the High Representative, the Peace Implementation Council, or its Steering Board; or the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or, with respect to the former Yugoslavia, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.

Seranic was additionally designated for being responsible for or complicit in, or for having directly or indirectly engaged in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 14033.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List, but also from OFAC’s willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with U.S. law. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please see this link.

Link:

State Department Press Statement

Treasury Department Press Statement

Categories: Balkans Sanctions OFAC Updates Public Statements, Comments and Reactions State Department Updates US Treasury Department Updates

eric9to5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: