Germany ends projects in Bosnia’s Serb republic over secessionist moves

The shutdown of $115m in projects is made in protest against the Bosnian Serb leader’s withdrawal of the autonomous region from state institutions.

Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's tripartite presidency, Milorad Dodik addresses journalists, after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister in East-Sarajevo
The EU has repeatedly warned Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik to halt his secessionist rhetoric [File: Elvis Barukcic/AFP]

The German government has shut down four infrastructure projects in Bosnia and Herzogovina’s autonomous Republika Srpska over the secessionist aims of its president, Milorad Dodik, according to a statement by the German embassy.

Wednesday’s announcement referred to projects worth a combined 105 million euros ($115m) that were suspended in April 2022 after Dodik moved to pull the Serb region out of state institutions, triggering Bosnia’s gravest political crisis since its 1992-1995 war.

In June, the region’s parliament voted to conditionally suspend the rulings of Bosnia’s Constitutional Court and decisions by a former German minister who acts as an international peace envoy in Bosnia. The vote triggered US sanctions against senior Bosnian Serb officials the following month.

Dodik has accused Washington of being biassed against Serbs.

“The withdrawal of secessionist measures requested by the German government has not occurred,” the embassy said in the statement. “Instead, [Dodik] … and the government have continued to escalate the political crisis.”

For that reason, the suspended projects – construction of a wind park, a wastewater management programme and two relating to revamping a hydropower plant – would not resume, it said.

The European Union has also repeatedly warned Dodik to halt his secessionist rhetoric and moves undermining the Bosnian state but has held back from imposing sanctions.

Source: Reuters