The Embassy of the United States in BiH sharply reacted to the recent statement made by the Republika Srpska (RS) president Milorad Dodik, who said that the U.S. administration intends to directly interfere in the country’s October general elections via the Agency for International Development (USAID). According to Dodik’s claims, the American administration wants to move his Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) party and its coalition partners from power.
“Public fabrications by Milorad Dodik are simply untrue. Once again, the assistance of the people of the United States is being used to support wild conspiracy theories in the interest of election campaigning in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The United States is estimated to have invested nearly two billion dollars in helping the reconstruction and building of democratic institutions in BiH. The details of our programs are fully transparent and available to the public”, emphasised the Embassy in its relevant press release.
It was added that in order to ensure transparency and partnership with the government of BiH, USAID has, over the past six months, developed a Framework Agreement with the Council of Ministers “to define our future programs to fight corruption. This is”, as press release reads, “the first step” of the overall process.
The embassy stated that the actual details of the program are being negotiated with the Bosnian authorities. The planned programs are likely to build upon ongoing efforts to fight corruption by automating government systems, improving public procurement, and supporting public oversight of government spending. As always, the U.S. Government implements projects in full coordination with local authorities and in accordance with local laws.
“Milorad Dodik’s false accusations against a project that aims to counter public corruption should raise questions about his commitment to transparent, effective governance as well as his personal motives, given recent reporting about the extent of his real estate holdings and other assets. Current U.S. Government programs are focused on supporting the reform processes in the country, boosting economic growth, improving security, and empowering civil society, including an independent media. We are proud of these programs and the partnerships we have formed with civil society representatives, media outlets, NGOs, and everyday citizens throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Attempts to mislead the public and intimidate organizations and individuals dedicated to improving Bosnia and Herzegovina are unacceptable and undemocratic”, stressed the U.S. embassy’s press release.
Dodik stated that the U.S. administration has eight million dollars in-store for various NGOs that are tasked with influencing the citizens, doing everything (in their power) to remove his coalition from his position and unify BiH, thus decreasing the power of the entities given to them by the Dayton Peace Accord.
“It’s a direct interference into the system of governance of another state. We will reach every recipient of these funds in the RS… Most of these projects (finance wise) end up in the pockets of those who do not pay any taxes. This is a hidden activity of the U.S. Embassy and USAID. We know the way they’re doing this”, stressed Dodik.
Denis Zvizdić, the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers also reacted, noting that the projects were agreed at state level and that the country’s foreign policy is a responsibility of the joint institutions. It means, as he said, that state authorities have no obligation whatsoever to ask lower level governmental officials -the entities included- on what they have arranged to do…. / ΙΒΝΑ