The president of Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik said the entity has possibly paid about $30 million to firms lobbying the United States government in Washington, following a report of Voice of America.
“It is public knowledge that for the past 10 years we have contacts with certain agencies (in the U.S). Thanks to that we had a good standing of Republika Srpska in the past”, Dodik said, according to FENA news agency.
“That’s not a lot of money, if you consider the time over which it was spent.”
VOA’s Bosnian service reported on Monday that the entity president spent $29,635,062,83 on lobbying efforts.
On January 17, the United States Treasury department imposed sanctions on Dodik for obstructing the implementation of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement.
The International Monetary Fund has put its loan deal with Bosnia on hold because the state and entity authorities have failed to enact reforms agreed with the lender, the IMF Resident Representative in Bosnia said.
“We cannot expect the formal completion of the first review in February because there are delays in the completion of prior actions. We are waiting for them to be completed for the IMF staff to recommend (Executive) Board approval of the first review,” Francisco Parodi told Reuters.
The IMF approved last September a three-year loan for Bosnia worth 553.3 million euros to back the country’s economic reforms. However, the fund has said the state must pass a law raising excise taxes, and the Federation entity must adopt a new banking law before the next installment is paid.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg arrived for a visit to Sarajevo, where he met the top officials and discussed Bosnia’s path to membership in the alliance. Stoltenberg met with the Presidency chairman Mladen Ivanic and other top government officials.
“We really highly value our partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is important for Bosnia and it’s important for NATO. Because our partnership is a two way street. We help you to implement reforms and you help us in creating stability in the Balkans and you contribute to our shared security in many different ways,” said Stoltenberg.
“NATO stands ready to activate your Membership Action Plan, once all immovable defense properties have been registered to the state.”
NATO Secretary-General said that the Defense Review, agreed last year, was an important step forward.
The Sarajevo Canton government drafted changes to its weapon-control law to allow both women and men carry pepper spray, according to a Sarajevo rights organization. According to the local law passed in 2007, only adult women are allowed to have pepper spray on them for self-defense purposes.
The Sarajevo Open Center – a civil society organization that advocates LGBT rights and gender equality – said it was informed by the national Ombudsman that the Sarajevo Canton police ministry drafted changes to the weapon-control regulations that will scrap the sex restriction. The organization complained to the Ombudsman about the 2007 law, citing violation of the gender equality principles. Sasa Gavric, former SOC director, complained to the Ombudsman that the sex restriction discriminated against men and women, as it suggested that only women need self-defense props and men can only be attackers.
The Municipal Court in Zenica found a vice speaker of the FBiH Parliament House of Representatives Vesna Svancer guilty of fraud and sentenced her to six months in prison, on probation for two years. Svancer was arrested last year on the orders of the Court. According to the sentence, she persuaded a Zenica woman that she would sell her apartment and give her the money, but when the owner authorized her to do so, Svancer sold the apartment for 19,800 euros and kept the money.
A photo exhibition “The Arctic Fates” by French author Nicolas Mingasson will open at the National Museum on February 1, on the occasion of the 129th anniversary of the Museum, in the presence of French Ambassador Claire Bodonyi.
The exhibition photos depict the lives of the Dolgan, nomadic cattle breeders of the Taymyr peninsula in the remote Russian arctic region.
Mingasson is a photographer journalist who had traveled to the peninsula Taymyr regularly since 1995 and is one of a small number of journalists and photographers who visited the region.
An exhibition of mementos of children who lived through the war has finally opened after the War Childhood Museum secured enough funding to acquire a permanent home in Sarajevo, reports BIRN. The museum at Logavina Street is the permanent exhibition space for a collection of more than 3,000 personal objects which was started by director Jasminko Halilovic in 2010. After struggling with reluctant local authorities to get enough funding, and putting on a temporary exhibit at the Historical Museum of Sarajevo, the project has finally been realized thanks to help mostly from international donors, as well as a crowdfunding drive that raised several thousand euros.