The US has sanctioned the most powerful figures in the Republic of Macedonia and the Western Balkans

The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned eight individuals and six entities in the Western Balkans. In a coordinated action, the US State Department also named two individuals and 12 entities.

"Russia continues to use its influence in the Western Balkans to impede the region's integration into international institutions and organizations, as well as to use key jurisdictions to facilitate its aggressive destabilizing activities," said the Deputy Treasury Secretary for Terrorism and financial intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

"Today's action reaffirms the US government's broader efforts to promote peace, stability, and functional democratic governance in the Western Balkans region."

The department lists Misha Vacic, a Serbian politician, for participating in the Kremlin-organized illegal referendums on the annexation of Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine in September 2022. The department also names Nenad Popovic, a former Serbian civil servant, and his associated companies. Popovich maintained close ties to the Kremlin and used his network for corruption schemes to amass personal wealth.

Concurrently, the Treasury Department is imposing sanctions on eight individuals and six entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Montenegro, and North Macedonia that directly facilitate Russian influence or whose corrupt activities benefit from Russian influence. These individuals and entities also impede important reforms and progress towards EU accession. With these designations, the U.S. government aims to change the behavior of those involved and combat domestic corruption, organized crime, illicit deals, and influence peddling that support Russian malign influence:

Sergey Samsonenko with dual citizenship of Russia and North Macedonia and a wealthy businessman living in North Macedonia. He is connected to corruption schemes with one of the most influential and richest businessmen, Ortse Kamchev. His wife Irina Samsonenko, also with dual citizenship of Russia and North Macedonia. Ortse Kamchev's mother - Ratka Kunoska Kamcheva.

BGNES reminds that Kamchev has been sanctioned by the US Ministry of Finance for corruption, money laundering, bribery and endangering the security of the Western Balkans.

Miodrag "Daka" Davidovic and Branislav "Brano" Michunovic have been sanctioned in Montenegro. They are accused of laundering money for criminal syndicates and smuggling cigarettes, oil and weapons into Montenegro.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Savo Cvietinovic, Petar Jokic and Dusko Perovic were sanctioned. All three from Republika Srpska.

All property and interests in the property of the above persons located in the United States are frozen. Prohibitions include the provision of funds, goods or services by, to or for the benefit of a blocked person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services from such a person.

In addition, financial institutions and other persons who engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned persons may be subject to sanctions or enforcement action. /BGNES