Bosnian Ministers Approve Controversial Gas Pipeline from Serbia

Bosnian Council of Ministers, the country's state-level executive government, voted on Thursday in favour of a construction of a new gas pipeline from Serbia.

The so-called Eastern Interconnection will bring natural gas to cities and towns in the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity.

The Council of Ministers also supported the construction of another pipeline from Croatia, which should run through the Croat- and Bosniak-dominated Federation entity, the so-called Southern Interconnection.

Borjana Kristo, Bosnia's de facto prime minister, said that all the decisions at Thursday's meeting of the Council of Ministers were made unanimously, and urged the Federation entity government to vote through a law to enable the construction of the Southern Interconnection.

"When it comes to the proposal for the new Eastern Interconnection, we have a clear situation. We have a law at the level of the Republika Srpska entity, proposals for implementing the agreement, and the Law on Conclusion of International Agreements," Kristo told a press conference.

"We have a clear situation so we can make a decision to enter into negotiations or conclude an agreement for the implementation of that project," she added.

However, there has been opposition within the country to both projects, particularly the pipeline to Serbia, because the president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik - who started the project with Serbia even before getting approval from state-level institutions - threatened to paralyse state-level institutions if it wasn't approved.

Dodik said at the beginning of May that if the Council of Ministers meeting didn't address the Eastern Interconnection project, "our people will assess how to proceed".

The Croat member of...

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