Bloomberg writes that the European Union is holding talks about whether to impose sanctions on the authorities in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity if its leaders follow through on threats to secede from the rest of the country.
The EU’s foreign affairs service noted several options, including restrictive measures, for the bloc’s foreign ministers to discuss at a meeting in Brussels later this month, Bloomberg reports.
In one paper, the EU suggested that restrictive measures, including asset freezes and travel bans, should be considered if Republika Srpska, led by (Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad) Dodik, unilaterally takes over competencies from the state or otherwise takes actions that threaten the unity of the country.
While Hungary argued on Friday, during the plan’s discussion that sanctions would only be counterproductive, Germany insisted that they be implemented as part of the mix.
Bloomberg adds that in response to the current crisis, the ambassadors were informed that the EU has already started to withhold some funds for infrastructure projects in the Republika Srpska.
The options paper described the EU’s financial assistance as leverage, noting that Bosnia currently receives €395 million in funds as well as a portfolio of more than € 1 billion of investments, including € 242 million in grants.
According to Bloomberg, the paper states that the EU sees no immediate danger. But it adds that the possibility of local outbursts of violence cannot be underestimated.