The section of the highway on corridor 5C in the direction from the Tovira to the Kostajnica interchange, with a length of six kilometers, was officially opened to traffic today.
This part of Corridor 5C is the first phase of the construction of this highway through the Republic of Srpska, and the entire project was financed with EBRD loans of 70 million euros and the EU with a grant of around 15 million euros.
Although in the beginning the ceremony seemed quite solemn, in the end it came down to political fights between the representatives of the EBRD, the EU and the officials of Republika Srpska.
The problem is that the officials of the EU and financial institutions decided in a certain way to slow down or stop the financing of this project due to the unstable political situation.
“There have been recent tensions and I hope we can manage to keep politics out of the project and continue the successful work”, said Manuela Naessl, director of the EBRD office in BiH, at the same time emphasizing that it is a significant one to a project supported by the EBRD and European institutions from the very beginning.
Stefano Ellero, head of the Department for Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke similarly, however, in the end, the officials of the Republika Srpska pointed out that they do not need European Union money at all to complete the corridor 5C through the Republika Srpska, at the same time thanking them for everything they have done so far.
“Republika Srpska and no one else will decide whether and when we will finish the construction of the highway.”, Radovan Viskovic said, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska, inviting European partners to declare whether or not they will finance the continuation of that project.
He pointed out that with six kilometers of corridor 5C, Republika Srpska reached 112 kilometers of highway and that the third and fourth phases of the highway will be combined into one and the remaining 33 kilometers of this corridor will be built in one piece through Srpska.
“Republika Srpska looks different than when we started with the first kilometers of the highway and that is the pride of all the citizens of Srpska. We want every part of our region to be built and we want no one to block any projects.”, said Željka Cvijanović, President of the Republic of Srpska.
Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the BiH Presidency, said that Srpska could have done that part of the highway without EBRD and EU funds, and that nothing is free and that Srpska will return that money.
“We have shown that we are capable of managing such large projects, and I want this section of the highway to be completed as soon as possible “, said Dodik, emphasizing that Srpska will certainly build a highway regardless of the EU and their financial institutions.
The section of the highway through the Republika Srpska was built by the company “Integral inžinjering”, and Boris Jerinić, the mayor of Doboj, said that the highway is an opportunity for the development of the economy of the city of Doboj and the entire region, as well as the Republika Srpska.