Slovenian expert: Dodik's era is over

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Milorad Dodik u Budimpešti
Source: Milorad Dodik u Budimpešti (REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo)

Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik's era is over, as the latest US sanctions against him have politically and financially isolated him from the rest of the world, Borut Suklje, an expert on the Western Balkans and former Slovenian ambassador to Serbia-Montenegro, told N1.

“Milorad Dodik's world collapsed twice. First after the defeat of former US President Donald Trump in the US presidential elections and immediately after the adoption of a special legislative provision signed by [former High Representative in BiH] Valentin Inzko on sanctioning the denial of genocide in Srebrenica. He was convinced, and of course not only him, that Trump would get a new presidential mandate and that it would be relatively easy to convince him that Dodik is his reliable partner in the Balkans,” Suklje said.

He noted that Dodik underestimated High Representative Inzko, and in fact hated him, and was constantly convinced that he was incapable or did not even dare to use the so-called Bonn powers, which give him the right to impose laws or sanction Bosnian politicians for undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in the country.

“Trump lost the election, and all the lobbying agreements with the lobbies in the United States, which he was convinced were sufficiently protecting him, disappeared. He ridiculed Inzko's legal provision all the time. He knew that in Europe he would be protected by his confidant, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. And that he will not allow the introduction of any sanction against him, and that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will not allow that either. Thus, in order to prove to his colleagues and financial partners that he has nothing to fear, he continued with the plans for the reorganization of BiH and the announcement of the possibility of secession of a part of the state. Not quite literally, of course. There were simply no legal proposals that could be adopted by the Republika Srpska parliament and which would confirm Dodik's promises or announcements. He was really afraid of only one thing,” the former Ambassador pointed out.

He added that a few days ago, Dodik’s fears came true.

“The US administration has imposed financial sanctions on him. The US Treasury Department has published a new list of corrupt individuals whose actions destabilize the region, violate the main principles of the Dayton Peace Agreement and endanger the stability of BiH due to selfish interests. Sanctions were also imposed on his media tool, the Banja Luka based Alternativna TV, owned by his son Igor Dodik. With the television, they had big plans to expand throughout the region. The American sanctions and the sanctions proposed by the new German government, literally represent the political end of Dodik and his partners. In reality, sanctions mean that every and even the smallest deal with him or his associates is the reason for imposing sanctions on all those individuals or companies that would eventually engage in such deals. This means that Dodik is politically and financially isolated. And no one can help him anymore, neither Orban, nor Vucic, nor old friends, financially. Dodik's era is over,” added Suklje.

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