Minister of Economy and Entrepreneurship of Republika Srpska Vjekoslav Petričević stated at a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the defence industry enterprise Orao in Bijeljina that a reply from a Russian partner for obtaining licences that would provide the company a safe future for at least two decades is expected to arrive soon.
Petričević congratulated the anniversary to the management and all workers of Orao who contributed over the years to preserving the company’s capacities and stated that its future was now discussed through the realisation of activities necessary for safer business operations in the future.
“The line ministry and the Government of Republika Srpska have actively been working on the negotiations ever August, when we visited Moscow, and the talks are going in the right direction,” said Petričević.
According to him, it takes time to get licences from the Russian partner, while the responses coming from Russia say that all prerequisites have been fulfilled to obtain licences for helicopters and airplane engines.
“We communicate on a daily basis and expect their visit very soon, perhaps in the next ten days, so that they can perform all the controls and checks as a prerequisite for obtaining licences,” stated the minister.
Acting Director of Orao Biljana Marković stated that 75 years of operations is a long time that the company has been in existence, surviving and remaining in operation and voiced hope that Orao will last for many years to come.
“We are trying to ensure a good basis for the future, all the necessary conditions for operations, and to maintain the current deals, and for that we have competent employees and the necessary technologies,” stated Marković.
She noted that the company was fighting to maintain the current deals under licences of Russian and English engine manufacturers and to continue its cooperation with Russian companies that made the original engines for various types of helicopters and airplane engines, without which Orao would not be able to survive or provide jobs in the long term.
“The Ministry of Economy and Entrepreneurship of Republika Srpska shows respect for this company and its tradition, as well as willingness to provide us the basic working conditions in the coming period, because it is largely the decisions of our Government and the line ministry, and of the Serbian Ministry of Defence that will decide Orao’s future in the time to come,” said Marković.
She added that representatives of a Canadian company were visiting Orao, with whom they have had a long-term successful cooperation and negotiating new business conditions.
The ceremony was held on company grounds where wreaths were laid near the monument to Orao workers who were killed in the 1990s homeland defence war as members of the Army of Republika Srpska, whereupon a visit was organised to the memorial room on the company grounds where memory is kept of 23 fallen and 75 wounded fighters who used to work for Orao.
On the occasion of the anniversary, the company’s chemistry engineer Ana Mićić told the press that Orao gives a chance to young people to learn, work and make progress, which is proved by her example since she is a third generation from her family to work for the company after her grandfather and father.