In an interview on Thursday, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik stated that sanctions imposed by the US on him and his associates will not deter him from cooperating with Russia. Three individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovina were also punished by banning entry into the USA and freezing their assets due to their close ties with Russia.
After receiving confirmation from Washington that they were under sanctions, all three of them confirmed that they had connections with Russia. They do not see anything objectionable in that, according to Dodik. He said that it is now clear to him that he and his colleagues are a problem for the West precisely because of their friendship with Russia.
Dodik criticized the fact that the USA has so far punished a whole series of his closest associates with sanctions, including Željka Cvijanović, who is a member of the BiH Presidency, as well as the Prime Minister and President of the Parliament of the RS and three ministers in the entity government. One of these individuals is Petar Đokić, who was punished by the USA because in 2017 he signed a contract with Croatian Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Tomislav Ćorić on supplying natural gas to an oil refinery in Bosanski Brod owned by Russian company “Zarubezhneft.”
Croatia agreed to supply gas to Bosanski Brod to prevent air pollution affecting residents in Slavonski Brod area. The agreement was based on a technical arrangement where energy would be delivered from Croatia to Bosanski Brod through product pipelines rather than gas pipelines as usual. Đokić stated that he did not understand why this would be considered problematic or cause for sanctions. “I have been in contact with Croatia and Russia for many years, and I will continue to do so,” said Đokić.