Home Politics Bosnian Serb government relaunches websites shut down by US sanctions

Bosnian Serb government relaunches websites shut down by US sanctions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik meet in Moscow

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia May 23, 2023. Sputnik/Alexey Filippov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire license rights

SARAJEVO, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Official websites of Bosnia’s separatist Serbian Republic (RS) government have been reactivated after being shut down under U.S. sanctions on its top officials, the regional prime minister said on Thursday Radovan Viskovic.

The websites of the RS government, presidency, civil service and inspection administration were closed last week, but Viskovic said they had been moved to the “.rs” domain from neighboring Serbia and were operational again.

“We were closed by the Americans,” Viskovic told the Capital news portal on Tuesday. “Even though we paid for this until February 2025, we were brutally sidelined due to US sanctions imposed on the President of Republika Srpska.”

Last month, Washington imposed sanctions on the family members and broader business network of Serbian nationalist and pro-Russian RS leader Milorad Dodik, president of the separatist entity that was already under US and UK sanctions for undermining the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord in Bosnia.

The agreements ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, in which 100,000 people were killed, dividing the Balkan country into two autonomous regions – the Serbian Republic and the Bosnian-Croatian Federation – linked by a government weak center.

Viskovic himself, along with three other senior Serbian officials, including Zeljka Cvijanovic, a Serbian member of the Bosnian presidency, were placed under American sanctions in July for facilitating the adoption of a law that undermined Bosnia’s post-war constitution and the Dayton Agreement.

Viskovic told the regional parliament on Thursday that his government would sue a U.S. company that shut down the websites without prior notification, but declined to name the company.

No one at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo immediately responded to a Reuters request for comment.

Dodik has long advocated Bosnia’s secession from its Serb-dominated region and recently proposed the unification of “all Serbian states” into a single country comprising Serbia, Montenegro and the Serbian Republic.

The US embassy strongly condemned his “reckless statements”.

“The United States will not stand idly by while Mr. Dodik and his political cronies attempt to tear the fabric of Bosnia and Herzegovina, destabilize the country and the region, and impede Bosnia and Herzegovina’s progress towards the European Union,” declared American Ambassador Michel Murphy. in a press release this week.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; edited by Mark Heinrich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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