The planned gas pipeline from Bijeljina in the northeast to BanjaLuka and Novi Grad in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was stopped at the Drina river.
Two members of the BiH Presidency from the Federation of BiH(FBiH), Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, refuse to officially discuss the contract between BiH and Serbia that would enable its construction.
Without the consent of all three members of the BiH Presidency and a signed bilateral agreement, the gas pipeline cannot cross the state border.
Through that pipeline, Russian gas would be transported through the so-called Turkish stream, and entered BiH through another direction. It would be intended exclusively for consumers in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity. The hundred million euros required for construction should be provided by Gazprom.
It is planned to be used by the Russian-owned Brod and Modrica refineries, which would also build one of the five planned gas thermal power plants. Gas would also be used by households for heating and other industrial consumers.
BiH Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic told that BiH should follow Europe and get rid of its dependence on Russian gas.
The European Union (EU) offers money to solve dependence on Russia
In Sarajevo, Von der Leyen presented the “Energy Support Package for the Western Balkans”, worth 500 million euros, intended to build infrastructure that would improve energy security and reduce dependence on Russian energy sources.
Dzaferovic emphasized that BiH’s interest is the construction of the “Southern Interconnection”, which would connect BiH to the network of Croatian and European gas pipelines, and he says that the construction of that gas pipeline to the south of BiH fits into this framework.
After the last session, Dodik referred to “blockades from the Federation” and announced countermeasures.
“As long as we are in power, no project in BiH will go through until the issue of the passage of the gas pipeline to Banja Luka is approved,” said Dodik.
‘High priority’ for the RS
The gas pipeline “New Eastern Interconnection of BiH – Serbia”, as it is formally called, would be 325 kilometers long, with a capacity of one billion cubic meters per year, and would cost around 120 million euros.
The director of the Gas Res company, Ljubo Glamocic, told that “it will take more time to finish the ‘paperwork‘ than for the construction itself”.
He stated that the authorities in RS, when planning the highway from Banja Luka to Bijeljina and further through Serbia, predicted that the gas pipeline would run parallel to it. He emphasized that “the events regarding Ukraine and Russia have slowed things down a lot, but that regardless of everything, work on the project continues.”
“A lot of details have been defined, including the crossing over the Drina. Soon, a tender will be announced for the preparation of a study and conceptual project, on the basis of which the project documentation and expropriation will be prepared,” Glamocic concluded, Radio Slobodna Evropa writes.