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The Russian state-financed Aleksandr Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which was sanctioned by the West for its ties to the Kremlin, will maintain a convention in Republika Srpska, the Serb-majority entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The European Union sanctioned the Gorchakov Fund in 2022, saying it was “liable for actively supporting and benefitting from the Authorities of the Russian Federation, which is liable for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine.”

In keeping with the EU, the Russian International Ministry funds the work of the Gorchakov Fund, which in flip grants funding to suppose tanks and nongovernmental organizations.

Now the Gorchakov Fund will maintain its annual Balkan Dialogue discussion board in Banja Luka in October. The occasion is hosted by the College of Banja Luka’s School of Safety Science.

Its dean, Predrag Ceranic, advised RFE/RL’s Balkan Service that he was not conscious that the Gorchakov Fund was underneath EU sanctions. He mentioned that he didn’t see “any impediment” in that, including that Bosnia-Herzegovina “isn’t at battle with Russia, it isn’t even a member of the EU […] and, usually, it has no hostile relationship with Russia.”

The matters of the convention embrace the “Russian view” of the Dayton settlement that ended the Bosnian Struggle in 1995, following the breakup of Yugoslavia, RFE/RL’s Balkan Service reported.

The Bosnian Serb chief Milorad Dodik, who’s sanctioned by the USA for alleged corruption and threatening the soundness and territorial integrity of Bosnia, will meet members on the occasion.

The president of the Gorchakov Fund, Leonid Drachevsky, a former diplomat and deputy-minister, will attend the occasion in Banja Luka. Russian Ambassador to Bosnia Igor Kalabuhov can even attend.

Edina Becirevic, affiliate professor on the School of Prison Justice, Criminology, and Safety Research on the College of Sarajevo, mentioned the convention is a continuation of Russian assist for Dodik’s secessionist coverage, but additionally of Russia’s malignant political affect within the Western Balkans.

“There isn’t any doubt that since 1992 Russia has supported these political forces dedicated to the destruction of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina,” she advised RFE/RL’s Balkan Service.

The Aleksandr Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund was established in 2010 by the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whereas Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov is chairman of its board of trustees.

Among the many members of the fund’s board is the U.S. sanctioned oligarch Alisher Usmanov, in addition to Yevgeny Primakov, the pinnacle of Rossotrudnichestvo, the company that oversees cultural trade applications and promotes Russia’s political and financial pursuits overseas.

The Fund says it helps the “creation of a public, political and enterprise local weather overseas, favorable for Russia”. It was named after Aleksandr Gorchakov, Russian Minister of International Affairs from 1856 to 1882.

In keeping with the EU, “tasks organized by the Gorchakov Fund have been necessary components of Russia’s overseas coverage discourse.”

In 2015, Ukraine closed the workplace of the Gorchakov Fund in Kyiv due to antistate propaganda.

With reporting by Milorad Milojevic and Meliha Kesmer from RFE/RL’s Balkan Service.

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