US' sanctions against Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and Serb politician Nikola Spiric remain in place, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Matthew Palmer told local media on Saturday during his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Milorad Dodik and Nikola Spiric are under the US sanctions and that's the result of their decisions, stances and activities they conducted and openly discussed,” the US official was quoted as saying.
He added that they should act in a different way if they want those sanctions to be removed.
“We would be happy if they did so,” he said.
Hardline nationalist Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik was blacklisted by the former US administration for what they assessed was a breach of the Dayton Peace Agreement, a peace treaty created at the international level to end the 1992-95 Bosnian war.
For years, Dodik has been advocating secession of Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-majority entity that he represents in the state institutions, and its merging with neighbouring Serbia.
The sanctions that were introduced on him and Nikola Spiric, a high-ranking official of his SNSD party, Dodik labelled as an act of the old and outgoing US administration.
Palmer said that the US Treasury Department is in charge of the technical part regarding these sanctions and that those processes were grounded on evidence.
Before their status changes, he stressed, there should exist evidence to a change.
Asked if the sanctions might be imposed on other persons close to the SNSD leader, Palmer replied that he had nothing to add on this matter right now but that the USA would keep using its instruments in an adequate way in order to promote its narrow and broad interests in the region.
Palmer also expressed full support of his country to Bosnia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration, pointing out that they wish to see Bosnia strengthening its relations with the NATO.
He hopes the political leaders will reach an agreement that would lead to government formation.