Serb Ministers in BiH Block Sanctions Against Russia

by Cristian Florescu

Serb ministers in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Council of Ministers blocked a decision to deny access for Russia and Belarus to funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Presidency member Milorad Dodik announced strengthening energy cooperation with Russia, write Exit News

EU Ambassadors accredited in Sarajevo had previously called on Finance Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda for Bosnia and Herzegovina to join EBRD sanctions against Moscow and Minsk due to the aggression against Ukraine, but ministers of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), led by Dodik, voted against on two occasions, while Croat and Bosniak ministers supported the EU’s approach.

Bosnia and Herzegovina have not adopted an official position on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, and Presidency member Dodik announced he was planning to block all decisions on sanctions against Moscow.

Dodik, who said in 2015 he didn’t want gas from Croatia as he saw it as a path to dependency on the supply of that energy resource from the EU, now said that the authorities in the Republika Srpska entity were not giving up on the plan to expand the gas network in that entity only in cooperation with Russia.

He said there were now business operations whose aim was to realise that project.

“Once the situation goes back to normal, that should start again. If we build a gas pipeline, that will be a big thing for the economy of the RS entity. We got gas from Russia at a preferential price, and by introducing Gazprom, constructing a gas pipeline and thermal power stations, we would maintain that low price for the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Dodik.

Due to Dodik’s opposition to RS allowing the connection to the Croatian gas network via Slavonski Brod to Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently wholly dependent on Russian gas because it is only connected to Serbia’s gas network.

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