European Western Balkans

More politicians and businessmen from the Western Balkans under the US sanctions

US State Department; Photo: Flickr / NCinDC

WASHINGTON – The US State Department has imposed sanctions on the leader of the Serbian Right party, Miša Vacić, and the former minister of the Serbian Government, Nenad Popović, N1 reports.

Miša Vacić, a former officer in the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, is sanctioned because of his links with Russia, and malign foreign political activities. For the same reasons, sanctions are introduced for Nenad Popović, the Finance Ministry announced on Thursday.

Nenad Popović was the minister in charge of innovations and technological development and the president of the Serbian People’s Party, a coalition partner of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).

In July, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Aleksandar Vulin, current director of the Serbian Security Intelligence Agency and former Minister of Interior and Defense. Vulin’s acts have advanced corruption within Serbia’s governing institutions and include involvement in a drug trafficking ring. Vulin resigned at the beginning of November.

Vulin resigns as Serbian security chief 3 months after US sanctions

Montenegrin businessmen Branislav Brano Mićunović and Miodrag Daka Davidović are also on the list of sanctioned individuals. From Bosnia and Herzegovina, Savo Cvijetinović Tigar, a former member of the Republika Srpska Army who has close ties with the Russian veterans’ biker group “Night Wolves” and other organizations, is also on the list.

These types of sanctions, which are adopted by the US Treasury Department, are not directed toward states but directly strike particular non-US individuals, groups, and entities related to them. The main reasons for being placed under sanctions are corruption, criminal activities, arms trafficking, terrorism, violation of human rights, and threatening the stabilization efforts in the Western Balkans. The first Western Balkan politician to be blacklisted in this American sanction “program” is former Albanian prime minister and president Sali Berisha, back in May 2021.

US Sanctions towards Western Balkan entities: “Red flags” without much effect on the ground



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