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Policy brief

Assessing Russia's Economic Footprint in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Policy Brief No. 74

Russia has been one of the key political players in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Accords brought the 1992 – 1995 war to its end. According to the peace agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) with roughly equal territories – and the Brcko District. It is in RS, the entity with a Serb majority, that Russia has gained the most traction. Russia has particularly backed RS’s opposition to the Transatlantic integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as RS secession initiatives. Many regional observers feel that the secessionist aspirations of RS could potentially lead to a new regional conflict. 

The current policy brief highlights that Bosnia and Herzegovina is completely dependent on Russian gas supplies. Russian companies also control the country’s two refineries, both located in Republika Srpska. Russia has consistently been the largest foreign investor in RS and the fourth largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with around EUR 547 million of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country over the 2005 – 2016 period.

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