The president of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic has accused the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo of using its development agency to interfere in the Balkan country’s election process, a charge dismissed by the embassy as a “wild” conspiracy theory. Milorad Dodik said the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was implementing its aid program through non-government organizations to conceal what he said was its real agenda of countering Russian influence in the region. “Aiming to directly interfere in internal affairs of the Republika Srpska and Bosnia, USAID … tries to avoid all institutions and to grant funds under cover of the alleged fight against crime and corruption,” Dodik said.
Dodik, a critic of the West who favors closer ties with Russia, accused the central Bosnian government of conspiring with USAID in the matter and said that NGOs in the Serb Republic which receive USAID funding would be investigated.
Bosnia is divided into a Serb Republic and an entity for its Muslim Bosniak and Croat populations, which are linked via a weak central government.
The U.S. Embassy dismissed Dodik’s accusations.