Case “Drina”: Republika Srpska has to seek permission from Bosnia and Herzegovina for its Drina river JV hydro projects with RWE

, SEE Energy News

Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ermina Salkičević-Dizdarević confirmed in an interview with Anatolia (AA) that the ministry, was not introduced so far, by an official act with the signing of the contract between the Republic Srpska and Electric Power Industry of the Republic Srpska (RS) with representatives of German RWE Innogy GmbH on strategic partnership in research, construction and operation of hydro potential of the river Drina.

Since fierce reactions come from Montenegro because the state was not familiar with the project, which could threaten the environment, it is obvious that this issue will become a new Balkan problem. Especially because of the intentions of RS to include Serbia in projects on Drina.

“Considering the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MoFTER) has no official data on the exact locations of these facilities, and that the upper part of Drina is within BH, and the Republic Srpska entity, they can not say anything more about these hydro power plants because the media are currently the only source of short information on this issue and we can not rely on the truthfulness of these” said Salkičević-Dizdarevic.

But she recalled that Article 9 of the Law on ministries and administrative bodies of BH stipulates the authority of the Ministry. It is, among other things, responsible for defining the policy, basic principles, coordination and harmonization of activities of entities, authorities and institutions at the international level in the areas of energy, security, environment, development and utilization of natural resources.

“The above provisions clearly indicate that the Ministry is actually responsible for proposing and implementing procedures for awarding concessions for all border areas of BH with other countries. With of course, keeping in mind the cross-border impact of any project, “said Salkičević-Dizdarevic.

Also, she added, awarding the concession in the area of Drina river that borders with Serbia, can not be realized without the participation of the competent authorities and institutions of BH and participation of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, Commission for Concessions, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant institutions.

“Each of the aforementioned bodies should operate within their respective jurisdictions, given that this is a transnational project, which includes taking appropriate actions and concluding bilateral agreement between BH and Serbia, in accordance with the procedures for the conclusion and implementation of international agreements,” she said.

Salkičević-Dizdarević underlined that the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BH, is responsible for submitting the initiative to start the procedure for concluding an international agreement to the Council of Ministers, as well as to review the justification of the initiative, if it is made by other relevant institution according to the Law on concluding and implementation of international agreements.

“MoFTER will proceed in accordance with applicable legislation, and in no case can it be left out of the legal procedures in the construction of these power plants,” said Salkičević-Dizdarevic.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations explained the procedures RS authorities should have respected.

“Based on the submitted initiative and evaluation whether the initiative is justified, the Ministry submits it to the Council of Ministers, together with the draft proposal for the initiation of the procedure, and the platform for negotiations for the signing of an international contract. The Council of Ministers shall determine the proposal to initiate the procedure, and after completion of the prescribed procedure, it will propose to the Presidency of BH to make a decision to conduct the negotiations for the conclusion of international agreements.

Negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement may be preceded by preparatory talks at the expert level, as decided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Upon completion of negotiations, the competent institution shall submit a report on the negotiations to the Presidency and the Council of Ministers, and when submitting to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they will include the text of an international agreement, “explains Salkičević-Dizdarevic.

Presidency, in the end, gives the power of attorney for signing the agreement to the relevant institution, upon completion of the negotiations, but the content of the agreement must be consistent with the previously established basis for negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement.

“Under the present law, international agreements on behalf of BH are concluded by the BH Presidency, but it can authorize the Council of Ministers and other authorities to conclude an agreement. Entity, under this Act, may enter agreements with states and international organizations, with the consent of the Parliamentary Assembly. The Parliamentary Assembly may provide by law that certain types of agreements do not require such consent” said Salkičević-Dizdarevic.

Since the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations was not at all aware of what they institutions controlled by Milorad Dodik were doing, it confirms a hypothesis of the head of Commission for Concessions, Hamed Mešanović that this is an attack on sovereignty of BH as he previously stated for AA.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine