If Sarajevo continues to block pipeline project we will block others important to Bosnia, says Milorad Dodik.
The Serb member of the Bosnia Herzegovina’s tripartite Presidency announced Friday that he would block all projects if Russia’s Gazprom pipeline project is stopped.
Republika Srpska is working on the “New Eastern Interconnection, — the gas connection between the Serb-majority entity and Serbia, and the representatives of the Srbijagas and Gas Res companies signed an agreement on gasification in 2021.
”It is unjustified that this is being blocked by institutions in Sarajevo. If they continue to block our request, then we will also block other projects that are important for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will take a number of measures to force them to do so,” Milorad Dodik said in St. Petersburg during an International Economic Forum.
Dodik’s remarks came after he met Gazprom’s Chairman of the Management Board, Alexey Miller.
Dodik said Republika Srpska, one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been waiting 10 years for the state to give its consent for the construction of a gas pipeline under the Drina River.
He said the Serb side is not opposing Bosnia’s gas connection with Croatia through a southern gas interconnection.
Gazprom would deliver natural gas to Republika Srpska at the same price until the end of the year and it was agreed that the road map for the new gas pipeline under the Drina would be completed in two months, according to Dodik.
Energoinvest, the gas supplier for the Bosnia, Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, has extended its natural gas supply contract with Gazprom, which will be valid until Jan. 1.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is completely dependent on imported gas from Russia which comes through the “Turkish Stream.” Gas is delivered to Bosnia and Herzegovina via a gas pipeline that enters the country in Sepak near Zvornik, on the border between Bosnia and Serbia.
Regarding the plan of gas diversification in the Federation Entity, the Southern Interconnection has long been mentioned, which would connect Bosnia with the gas pipeline system in the south of Croatia — but also the LNG terminal on the island of Krk, in the north of the Adriatic Sea.
Dodik also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday at the International Economic Forum, in which statesmen from 70 countries are participating.
He is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later Friday.