Bosnian lawmaker Nikola Spiric said the US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Maureen Cormack was responsible for the sanctions the US State Department introduced against him and his family members.
"It is absolutely clear that sanctions against me and my family members are a product of the frustration of the outgoing US Ambassador to Bosnia, Maureen Cormack, who made a desperate move 28 days before the general election in order to help her puppets from Sarajevo – the Alliance for Change," Spiric told SRNA news agency.
The US State Department said on Monday that it has banned Bosnian Serb lawmaker Nikola Spiric and members of his immediate family from entering the US over Spiric's alleged "involvement in significant corruption."
"Of course I got nothing to feel bad about because, in all my 40 years of political career, I’ve always been responsible to my people and available to all law enforcement institutions in my country. On the contrary, I feel proud because this shows how much the people who don’t like my Republika Srpska and my Serb people see me as an obstacle to their goals."
Spiric was sanctioned under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act of 2018, which says that, should the US Secretary of State have credible information that foreign officials were involved in "significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States."
"Mr Spiric engaged in and benefited from public corruption, including the acceptance of improper benefits in exchange for the performance of public functions and interference with public processes, during his tenure as a member of the House of Representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina," the US State Department said.
The President of the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity, who is also the leader of Spiric’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), Milorad Dodik who was also sanctioned by the US State Department, defended Spiric, accusing the US Ambassador of "flagrantly meddling in political processes and elections in Bosnia."
"Even though her intentions are clear, my message to the ambassador is that this will definitely not interfere with our campaign, as well as with our determination to do what we planned to do after yet another convincing electoral victory. This will only further strengthen us in order to further protect the interests of the RS and the Serb people."
Spiric’s wife, Nada Spiric, his son, Aleksandar Spiric, and his daughter, Jovana Spiric, were also placed under the sanctions.