Russia seeks repayment of $98 mln gas debt from Bosnia - report

Russia seeks repayment of $98 mln gas debt from Bosnia - report Author: Ilya. Licence: Creative Commons.

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), May 16 (SeeNews) – Russia is seeking $98 million (88.7 million euro) from Bosnia and Herzegovina in outstanding gas debt incurred during the war in the Balkan country in the 1990s, Bosnian media reported on Tuesday.

The debt relates to gas deliveries made by Russia's Gazprom to Bosnia from 1991 to 1995, which have not been paid for, news daily Dnevni avaz reported.

The debt initially totalled $104.8 million but since 2009 the Federation, one of Bosnia's two entities, has paid back $5.9 million.

Gas company Gas-Res, based in the other entity, the Serb Republic, recently signed a deal under which it has no obligation to pay back the wartime debt, which means the remaining $98 million falls on the Federation, Avaz explained.

A few years ago the two entities initialled an agreement saying each of them will pay back half of the debt but the document was never ratified by the National Assembly of the Serb Republic.

According to Dnevni avaz, representatives of the Russian government are meeting with Bosnia's state-level ministers of finance and foreign policy in Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to find a common solution to the debt issue.

In March, Bosnia and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement to settle $125.2 million of debt owed by the former USSR to the former Yugoslavia.

The Federation will receive 58% of the debt repayment, or $72.6 million, the Serb Republic will get $36.3 million or 29%, Bosnia's state institutions are entitled to $12.5 million or 10%, while the Brcko District - a neutral, self-governing administrative unit - will receive 3% or $3.8 million, Bosnia's government said earlier.

($=0.904503 euro)

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