Republika Srpska's Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mines, Petar Đokić, together with a group of entrepreneurs, recently visited a business forum in Nizhny Novgorod – one of the leading industrial areas in Russia – for the purpose of promoting investments in the region. This visit has been reported as part of the general effort to strengthen economic ties between the two countries that already enjoy positive commercial relations, taking into consideration that Russia is currently the fourth biggest investor in Bosnia.
According to Đokić, these relations have particularly been improved in the previous two years, as the foreign trade turnover between Russia and Republika Srpska grew by 40% over that period. The focus of the cooperation going forward is said to mainly be placed in the energy sector, as developing it presents a priority issue for the Bosnian entity. More precisely, Đokić has pointed out that Republika Srpska is interested in obtaining Russian equipment for its hydropower plants. So far, this sector has gone through EUR 1.5 billion in investments, with a plan to increase that figure to EUR 6 billion by 2030. While staying in Russia, Đokić took the time to officially launch a centre tasked with working on mutual economic cooperation between the two countries in Nizhny Novgorod.
Elsewhere, Vladimir Bogojević, from the Republika Srpska Chamber of Commerce, shed further details on the commercial relations between the countries in question, by adding that exports from Republika Srpska to Russia have increased by 128% - as it mainly consisted of agricultural products such as apples, pears, and quinces. On the other hand, Russia was mainly exporting oil and natural gas to the Bosnian entity. The main reason behind the growing trade links between the countries, according to Anton Sokolov from the Russian Embassy, being the mutual sanctions imposed between EU and Russia that have, in turn, benefited not only Republika Srpska and Bosnia, but many other countries that are in a similar position.