Banja Luka’s enterprise Kosmos, which is associated to the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia, intends to introduce three rocket launchers for the Russian missile system NEVA-S125. At the beginning of October this year, this enterprise has submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH a request for an import license. This Ministry then forwarded the request of the company Kosmos for further assessment to the Ministry of Security of BiH, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense and the Intelligence and Security Agency of BiH.
“In absence of Minister Sifet Podzic, Deputy Minister of Defense of BiH Mirko Okolić (SNSD) gave his consent to the import of this military equipment at the end of October”, said a source in the BiH Ministry of Defense.
However, after returning from a business trip, Minister Podzic revoked the consent signed by his deputy Okolic on October 27 this year.
“A reassessment of the Request for Issuance of a Foreign Trade Document revealed a lack of information from the end user’s statement prescribed by Article 7, paragraph (2) of the Law on Control of Foreign Trade in Arms, Military Equipment and Special Purpose Goods. The mentioned article explicitly prescribes: The documents in the end user referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall contain, inter alia: name of exporter, name of end user and final purpose, name of goods, description of goods, quantity, value, validity of the document and a statement that it will not be re-exported without the prior written consent of the competent institution of the original exporting country”. As the end user’s statement didn’t state the final purpose of the asset and whether it is a permanent, not temporary import, the BiH Ministry of Defense reserves the right to re-establish all the facts necessary for re-determination in terms of giving consent to import the asset,” Minister Sifet Podzic said in his statement.
According to the documentation that Istraga.ba obtained, the company Kosmos Banja Luka is the importer, which is also an end user.
As can be seen from the document above, Kosmos intended to introduce one “PR – 14AM missile loading and unloading vehicle” and three 5P73 launch pads.
In its request for import, Kosmos stated that, as the end user, it will purchase the supply of vehicles and three pieces of launching ramps “from the starting equipment of the S-125” NEVA “missile system” for the purpose of overhauling and bringing it into proper condition”. The documentation does not state at all who will use these military weapons, and it is obvious that this is not a “temporary” import, but a “permanent import” into the territory of BiH, ie Srpska Republic.
The S-125 NEVA missile system is an anti-aircraft equipment system manufactured in the USSR. The Army of the Republic of Serbia has been using it for years.
The S-125M NEVA air defense missile system is intended for the destruction of targets in the airspace flying at low and medium altitudes and the destruction of targets on land and water that can be observed by radar. With the “Neva” missile system, it is possible to destroy targets in departure and arrival at a distance of up to 25 km and at an altitude of up to 18 km. The maximum speed of the rocket is about 700 m / s.
“A partial modernization of the” neva “missile system has been carried out – with the aim of improving the technical characteristics of the system – which has achieved higher efficiency, better protection of combat services and saving of resources”, it is stated on the official website of the Serbian Army.
It should be noted that in March this year, Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic visited Banja Luka company Kosmos.
“Stefanović assessed that this cooperation is good, but that there is room for its further improvement. At the meeting, possible future modalities of cooperation were discussed, which, as Minister Stefanovic assessed, would be important for the continuation of equipping the Serbian Army, and at the same time for further development of this company”, stated the website of the Serbian Ministry of Defense after Stefanovic’s visit to Banja Luka company Kosmos.
A.Avdić. The Geopost contributor from Sarajevo