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English11/01/2019

OPTIMISM OVER SERBIA'S READINESS TO HELP SRPSKA

 

BELGRADE, January 11 /SRNA/ - Republika Srpska Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic has stated after separate meetings with Serbian President and Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic and Ana Brnabic, in Belgrade that it has been confirmed today that Serbia is a sincere friend of Srpska, as well as a continuation of cooperation through the implementation of concrete projects.

 

Viskovic has emphasized that he is now even more optimistic when he heard how Serbia is ready to help Republika Srpska and the Serb people, which in some way eases his position as prime minister.

"Republika Srpska is protected and Serbia is its sincere friend, Vucic and Brnabic confirmed this. Some dilemmas that I had yesterday have already been eliminated. I have absolute support and a sincere friend ready to help Srpska at any moment and in every way," Viskovic told reporters in Belgrade.

He has said that during today's meeting it was agreed to hold a meeting between economic and social councils of Republika Srpska and Serbia by the end of January, and a joint session of the governments after the February 20 in order to finalize certain issues and start with implementation as soon as possible.

"First of all, we are talking about the construction of two hydropower plants on the Drina River - Foca and Paunici. We want to work in cooperation with power companies in Republike Srpske and Serbia, stressed Viskovic.

He has said that the Government of Srpska today announced a public invitation for the construction of the hydroelectric power plant Dabar, and will announce the selection of contractors for the hydroelectric power plant Buk Bijela by the end of the month.

"When I told Mr. Vucic about it, he accepted the initiative that Serbiaappears at these tenders through its companies. I will be overjoyed if Serbia gets a job for the construction of these hydroelectric power plants," Viskovic has said.

He has said that during today's meetings there were also words about hydroelectric power plants on the middle course of the Drina, which have a significant capacity of about 400 megawatts, and that Srpska is going to submit initiative for necessary consent as soon as a new convocation of the Council of Ministers is formed.

According to him, Vucic and Brnabic also talked about road infrastructure.

"Vucic reiterated Serbia's position. Once the construction season starts, they will begin the construction of a motorway from Kuzmin towards Raca. Their obligation is to build a modern bridge on the Sava River. I spoke with Prime Minister Brnabic on how we both should instruct ourselves to use the existing Raca border crossing to avoid situation of building another one soon, as this one is relatively new and modern and to integrate it into the motorway and to make it be a joint border crossing between Serbia and Serbia," Viskovic has said.

He has stressed that Vucic expressed his willingness to somehow get involved and assist Republika Srpska in building a motorway from Raca towards Bijeljina.

"We are negotiating these days. We are looking for lenders, contractors to continue with the construction of the Doboj – Bijeljina motorway. The strategic goal is to connect Belgrade with Banjaluka as soon as possible, "said Viskovic.

He has added that some projects in Serbia were discussed, especially in Podrinje zone.

"I was told that the construction of Ruma - Sabac motorway is going to start at the beginning of the construction season, so will Sabac - Loznica fast road, which coincides with our planning documents for the construction of the fast road from Bijeljina, Zvornik and Milici towards Sarajevo, an then towards Trebinje in the future," Viskovic has said.

He has pointed out that the issue of the possible Belgrade - Sarajevo connection is being resolved, as well as Jahorina, which is getting closed to the consumers from Serbia, especially from Novi Sad and Belgrade, with modern road communications.

"Cross-border cooperation of 30 Podrinje municipalities in relation to possible tourism, road construction, traffic projects was also discussed," said Viskovic.

Answering the question of how big the Government of Srpska, i.e. the Government of Serbia’s investments in the hydroelectric power plants on the Drina River will be, Viskovic has said that the Government of Srpska issued a decision yesterday on initiating the negotiation procedure.

"Our Electric Power Company needs to get a concession for the construction of these two entities and we will form a joint company. In the first stage, Serbia will have 51 percent, Srpska 49. I will not elaborate why it is so, but this is due to the acceleration of some procedures, Viskovic has explained.

He has added that the call for Srpska to address Belgrade for all questions, suggestions and help in resolving the problems is open, and that the cabinets and associates of the president and prime minister of Serbia are permanently there for Srpska.

"I thank them for that as a human being, citiizen of Republika Srpska, and as prime minister," Viskovic has said. /end/vos