SNSD have fiercely criticized the state Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Sarovic for his open warnings that he is not going to let the Government of RS to spend 70 million KM. This amount of money is to be allocated to the RS out of the debt that Russia is due to pay to BiH.
Minister Sarovic stated that 'Serb representatives in Sarajevo will determine the purpose of 70 million KM of Russian debt, as well as 200 million KM of the Central Bank profit.'
Negotiations on paying Russia's clearing debt to BiH went on for 8 years. This relates to the debt from the period before the war for the jobs done by Yugoslav companies in SSSR at the time.
In 2008, the state Prime Minister at the time, Nikola Spiric talked to Russians about this debt. It was then agreed to cover the debt with BH gas bills from the war. RS officials refused the proposal. Then there was an offer to pay the debt through railway equipment. The net value of the machines was about $26 million. One of the options was to take multipurpose Russian helicopters K-32, which can be also used for fire-fighting as they can load up to 5 T of water in just one go.
However, at the latest negotiations, BH negotiators were pleasantly surprised by the Russian offer to pay the debt in money. A total of 215 million KM will be distributed as per following ratio: 33% for RS (72 million KM), 67% for Federation (143 million KM).
The Government of RS welcomed the news. Russian millions come at the right time as they would help mitigate the difficult economic situation in the RS. The timing is also right because they arrive just months before local elections. However, the RS government was angered by Sarovic's comment that he was not going to let them put their hands on this money. The RS Government has issued a statement in which they condemn Sarovic for betraying Republika Srpska.
SIPA is currently running several investigations relating to bankruptcy of two banks in the RS, robbery of state properties, as well as many other illegitimate actions of the highest officials in the RS. The RS President Milorad Dodik is also subjected to these assessments.
Sarovic fears that Russian millions and those from Central Bank may end up in pockets of the RS governing coalition.
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