Sanctioned companies linked to Dodik face contract terminations

NEWS 24.06.202419:16 0 komentara

Four institutions and one public company from Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed to Radio Free Europe (RFE) that they may terminate contracts with companies in BiH sanctioned by the United States last week.

RFE sent inquiries to over 20 addresses at the state, entity, and municipal levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have valid contracts with sanctioned companies from Republika Srpska (RS).

These companies are part of a network that, according to an OFAC statement on June 18, provides “significant sources of revenue” for Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska (RS), and his family.

The sanctioned companies are Infinity International Group Banja Luka, Infinity Media, K-2 Audio Services, Kaldera Company, Prointer ITSS, Sirius 2010, and Una World Network.

In the past ten years, they have been awarded 1,801 contracts worth €240.4 million.

Milorad Dodik has been under U.S. sanctions for some time, along with his son Igor and daughter Gorica.

The sanctions include freezing assets in the U.S. and prohibiting American citizens and companies from doing business with them, including tech giants like Microsoft and Intel, as well as transactions through foreign banks.

Banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina have closed the accounts of individuals and companies on the U.S. “blacklist” in recent months. According to the law, if a company does not have an open account, it is automatically dissolved.

Responses from institutions and companies

The RS Health Insurance Fund told Radio Free Europe that they have “a few active contracts” with Prointer, which deals with software and hardware sales and maintenance.

“The contracts include measures that can be applied if the contract is not honored,” the Fund stated. They also explained that the contracts define deadlines and payment methods.

The RS Ministry of Trade and Tourism stated that they have a contract with Prointer for the maintenance of software for remote monitoring and control of petroleum products at gas stations in Republika Srpska.

“If the sanctions cause problems or interruptions in service delivery, the Ministry will act according to the legal framework and contract terms,” they said, without specifying details.

The company Kaldera, which engages in construction work, was part of a consortium awarded a tender by the city of Prnjavor in northern Bosnia on April 11.

“The representative of the ‘Gradip’ group from Prnjavor informed us on June 18 that they will continue the contract implementation independently,” Prnjavor Mayor Darko Tomas said in a written response to RFE.

Elektroprijenos BiH, a state company jointly owned by the two entities that manages the transmission system, told RFE that all signed contracts with Kaldera have been executed. They currently have two maintenance contracts with Prointer.

One contract, signed on April 16 this year, is worth approximately €125,000, and the other, signed on January 3 this year, is worth around €127,000. The state company did not respond to whether Prointer had notified them of any potential issues in contract execution.

The Directorate for Civil Aviation BiH told RFE that they have a framework agreement with Prointer until August 12, 2026, for the maintenance of computer and communication equipment.

They stated that “there have been no issues” with contract execution “nor any need for extraordinary communication” with the company.

“The Directorate will strictly adhere to all its contractual and legal obligations. If necessary, we will seek instructions from relevant institutions,” they told RFE.

According to the BiH Anti-Money Laundering Law, banks are obliged to assess the risk of their clients and monitor their business relationships and transactions. Otherwise, they must terminate the established contract. Banks cannot block clients’ funds already in the account but can block the inflow of new funds.

Who is on the U.S. sanctions list?

In recent times, the U.S. has sanctioned RS President Milorad Dodik, members and companies of his family, and almost the entire top leadership of this entity, including RS National Assembly President Nenad Stevandic, Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic, RS Justice Minister Milos Bukejlovic, and Zeljka Cvijanovic, a member of the three-member BiH Presidency from RS.

Also sanctioned are former Federation of BiH President, now state MP Marinko Cavara, former Federation of BiH Prime Minister Fadil Novalic, former BiH Intelligence-Security Agency chief Osman Mehmedagic, and former Chief State Prosecutor Gordana Tadic, among others.

The sanctions were imposed for undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement, corruption, or business dealings with Russia in the case of “BN Inzenjering” and its owner Savo Cvijetinovic.

The sanctions list is maintained by OFAC, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, and includes hundreds of individuals and companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. Most names are those convicted or accused of war crimes committed in the 1990s.

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