At a time when Russian oil companies are being put under sanctions by the European Union (EU), Autoceste (Highways) of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) encourages citizens to use their gas stations. In the representative office of the EU in BiH, they consider the decision a lack of solidarity with the residents of Ukraine who are victims of the Russian invasion.
A promotional e-mail recently reached the subscribers of theAutoceste FBiH notification about the campaign in which for a certain amount of fuel at Gazprom gas stations they can get a device for electronic toll collection free of charge.
Autoceste FBiH, a public entity company, is conducting a campaign in July on its website in which it offers benefits to its users who fill fuel at Gazprom, gas stations whose Russian owners have been sanctioned by the EU due to invasion ofUkraine.
The EU delegation notes that BiH has formally harmonized its position on the war in Ukraine with the position of the EU, but also that they believe that harmonization with these sanctions is missing in BiH.
“As a country with a strong perspective in the EU, we expect BiH to harmonize its foreign and security policy with EU policies. Therefore, we appeal to the authorities at all levels, as well as to the heads of state-owned enterprises, to show solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine and join the EU in its efforts to impose serious consequences on Russia for its actions, thereby effectively thwarting Russia’s ability to continue aggression,” it was mentioned from the Delegation of the EU in BiH, the representative office of the Union which allocated tens of millions for the construction of highways in the Federation through non-refundable grants and loans.
A large number of countries have imposed sanctions on Russian companies in order to reduce Russia’s ability to finance the invasion of Ukraine, in which hundreds of civilians have been killed and wounded so far. European countries are trying to reduce their dependence on Russian gas and oil by gradually introducing sanctions and leaving room for energy imports for a certain period of time in order to reduce the damage to their economies.
At the beginning of July, Autoceste promoted a prize campaign in cooperation with the G-Petrol company and using Gazpromgas stations. In turn, during the prize campaign, buyers of fuel worth 100 BAM or more were rewarded with devices for electronic toll collection.
While the G-Petrol company claims that they are not affecting sanctions, nor are they hindered in their work on the BiH market, analysts warn that public companies in BiH should be more careful when choosing their partners.
G-Petrol itself, registered in Sarajevo, is owned by the sanctioned Russian company Gazprom Neft. As confirmed by G-Petrol, the owner of this company is the Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS), in which Gazprom Neft is the largest shareholder, with a 50 percent share of ownership.
BiH formally joined the EU sanctions against Russia through the BiH Mission in Brussels, based on the Foreign Policy Strategy and obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement. According to official information published on the website of the European Council, BiH “aligned with the EU” in sanctioning several hundred individuals and companies from Russia.
Economic analyst Admir Cavalic believes that sanctions and determined obligations are not taken seriously in BiH, and speaking about cooperation of Autoceste with Gazprom, he says that he would not be surprised if there are more such examples in BiH.
“It simply shows that the hierarchy of relations, political and any other economic, has not been achieved and harmonized in BiH, in such a way that if the state commits to something, it automatically passes, in this case, to the entity company, which is state-owned a company with exceptional capital,” explained Cavalic, Detektor writes.