Press Releases

Treasury Targets Republika Srpska Officials for Activity Undermining the Dayton Peace Agreement

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating three individuals who have contributed to Specially Designated National (SDN) and Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik’s (Dodik) efforts to undermine the peace and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) by organizing and executing the commemoration of “Republika Srpska Day” (RS Day) on January 9, 2024, an activity determined to be unconstitutional in BiH. These individuals facilitated Dodik’s efforts to undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) and the authority of the BiH Constitutional Court and the High Representative.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the continued attempts to undermine the Dayton Peace Accords and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution, two critical institutions that have been instrumental to peace and stability in the region,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “We will continue to hold to account those who seek to sow division to achieve their own political aims at the expense of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” 

On January 8, 9, and 10, 2024, the RS government organized celebrations of RS Day in defiance of prior BiH Constitutional Court (BiH CC) decisions that the commemoration of January 9 is unconstitutional because it prioritizes “the religious heritage, tradition, and customs of only the Serb people” and thus violates the constitutional obligation of non-discrimination. The High Representative stated that the celebration of January 9 as RS Day represented “a clear and direct failure to implement the final and binding decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court.” He noted that such non-compliance with BiH Constitutional Court rulings constituted a criminal offense under the BiH Criminal Code. 

Dodik appointed and personally directed an organizing committee to plan 2024 RS Day celebrations in the RS. The three individuals OFAC is designating today were members of the RS Day organizing committee and took part in the widely publicized November 27, 2023, meeting that launched the committee’s activities and approved the schedule of events. In facilitating the celebration of RS Day, these individuals knowingly defied the conclusions of the BiH CC and High Representative and demonstrated open contempt for the DPA. 

Today’s action builds on sanctions imposed by the United States in response to prior incidents in which individuals have engaged in activities that undermine regional stability. These actions are part of the U.S. government’s wider efforts to promote peace, stability, and functional democratic governance in the Western Balkans region. For example, the United States designated Dodik on January 5, 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, a violation of, or an act that has obstructed or threatened the implementation of, the DPA, as well as for corrupt activities. The United States also previously designated Dodik on July 17, 2017 pursuant to E.O. 13304 for having actively obstructed or posed a significant risk of actively obstructing the DPA.


Branislav Okuka (Okuka) was closely involved with the planning and execution of RS Day and responsible for boosting attendance at the celebrations. Okuka was originally a part of an informal group of influential advisors to Dodik who had nationalist Serb and pro-Russia sympathies, supported RS independence, and focused on making plans to return power from BiH institutions to RS institutions. Dodik and Okuka worked together to plan strategies for a one-day withdrawal of Bosnian Serb officials from all BiH state-level institutions. Okuka and a group of Dodik allies also planned to resist any attempted arrest of Dodik by BiH authorities. Additionally, Okuka was the primary organizer of the “Borders Exist” protests that took place in fall 2023 along BiH’s Inter-Entity Boundary Line and created lists of Bosnian Serb officials who personally benefitted from an association with Dodik’s party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), to attend future protests. 

Okukais being designated pursuant to E.O. 14033 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Dodik.

Jelena Pajic Bastinac (Bastinac)serves as Secretary General for the President of the RS. Along with Okuka, Bastinac was a part of the RS Day organizing committee that was closely involved with planning and executing events. Bastinac was also responsible for boosting attendance at celebrations on January 9. As part of these efforts, Bastinac actively promoted mass attendance at RS Day celebrations and publicly dismissed the warnings and rulings of the High Representative that RS Day celebrations posed a risk to the DPA.

Srebrenka Golic (Golic) is the current Chair of the People’s Council of the RS and a long-time politician in the SNSD. On November 27, 2023, Golic met with others, including Bastinac and Okuka, to establish the RS Day organizing committee — of which she was also a member — and to adopt a schedule of events for celebrations around January 9. Golic then actively participated in RS Day celebrations in her official capacity as a public official. 

Bastinac and Golic are being designated pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, a violation of, or an act that has obstructed or threatened the implementation of, any regional security, peace, cooperation, or mutual recognition agreement or framework or accountability mechanism related to the Western Balkans, including the Prespa Agreement of 2018; the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 2001; United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244; the Dayton Accords; or the Conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference Council held in London in December 1995, including the decisions or conclusions of the High Representative, the Peace Implementation Council, or its Steering Board; or the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or, with respect to the former Yugoslavia, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals.


As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. 

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s FAQ 897.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities sanctioned today.