Officials of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity are not giving up on strengthening economic cooperation with Russia, despite the Western sanctions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) also declaratively joined.
A delegation of the Investment and Development Bank of the RS, which is 100% owned by that BiH entity, is on a multi-day visit to Russia, where it is negotiating with Russian businessmen to improve cooperation and new investments.
As announced on the website of the Investment and Development Bank of the RS, the meetings should be an introduction to “intensive economic cooperation between the RS and Russia.” The attitude of representatives of the Russian Chamber of Commerce to “expand investments in friendly countries” was also pointed out.
BiH declaratively joined the sanctions
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24th, BiH, through its mission in Brussels, has voted in favor of several packages of sanctions introduced by the European Union (EU) to Russia.
However, the sanctions did not “take root” in practice, given that the decision on their implementation was not confirmed by the Council of Ministers of BiH, due to the opposition of the ministers from RS.
Ambassador of BiH in the delegation from RS
The delegation from the BiH entity RS was joined by the ambassador of BiH in Moscow Zeljko Samardzija.
During a meeting with representatives of the Russian Chamber of Commerce on August 3rd, Samardzija stated that cooperation with Russian businessmen is “very important for RS”.
”Especially bearing in mind that, thanks to the representatives of RS, BiH did not impose sanctions on Russia,” said Samaradzija, as published on the website of the Investment and Development Bank of RS.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, BiH has not had a single condemnation of Russian aggression, nor has there been a position on sanctions against Russia.
The initiative to condemn Russian aggression did not receive support in the BiH Parliament either, because it was not supported by deputies from the RS entity.
”A reckless and disappointing decision”
The Public Relations Office of the United States (U.S.) Embassy in BiH announced that BiH is part of the Euro-Atlantic community of countries and that its political and economic future lies in the West.
The decision of the Investment and Development Bank of RS to cooperate with, as stated, brutal authorities that are under European and U.S. sanctions due to an unprovoked war, was considered disappointing and reckless, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.