U.S. DEPARTMETN OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
Statement by Ned Price, spokesperson
April 11, 2022
The U.S. Department of State has publicly designated former Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Nikola Gruevski and former Director of the Department for Security and Counterintelligence (UBK) Sasho Mijalkov as well as Gordana Tadić of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the chief prosecutor’s office. We have taken these actions in response to these former officials’ involvement in significant corruption. Their actions undermined the rule of law, democratic institutions, and public processes in both countries and eroded the public’s faith in their governments.
In his official capacity as prime minister, Gruevski was involved in corrupt acts that included using his political influence and official power for personal benefit. Specifically, there is credible information that Gruevski abused the power of his office to solicit and accept bribes in return for government contracts, misappropriated public funds, and interfered in electoral processes to benefit himself and his party politically.
In his official capacity as Director of the UBK, Mijalkov was involved in corrupt acts that included using his political influence and official power for personal benefit. Specifically, there is credible information that Mijalkov abused the power of his office to solicit bribes in return for government contracts and interfered in electoral processes to benefit himself and his party politically.
In her official capacity as chief prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gordana Tadić used her influence to interfere with judicial processes. Specifically, there is credible information that Tadić manipulated cases to protect political patrons from prosecution and failed to assign cases to prosecutors through an automated case distribution system designed to prevent prosecutor assignment decisions based on personal or political reasons.
These designations are made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022. In addition to Gruevski, Mijalkov and Tadić, the Department of State is also designating their immediate family members under 7031(c). This action renders Gruevski, Mijalkov, Tadić and their immediate family members ineligible for entry into the United States.
In addition, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed economic sanctions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033 on seven individuals and one entity across four countries in the Western Balkans. As a result of today’s action under E.O. 14033, all property and interests in property of those sanctioned that are in or come within the United States or that are in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. (+link to Treasury’s announcement)
Together, these designations reaffirm the U.S. commitment to supporting the rule of law and strengthening democratic institutions of the Republic of North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Department will continue to use authorities like this to promote accountability for corrupt actors in this region and globally.
For more information, please contact INL-PAPD@state.gov.