Bosnian Serb Leader to Prevent Suit against Croatia over Pelješac Bridge

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 12, 2018 – Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who on Sunday was elected the Serb representative on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s three-member presidency, has said he will not green-light a possible lawsuit which Sarajevo might lodge with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea against Croatia over the construction of Pelješac Bridge.

The other two newly-elected members, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, who sit as the Bosniak and Croat members of the presidency, are calling for a lawsuit against Zagreb.

In the event that one of the three members of the presidency vetoes a decision of this kind, legal action cannot be taken on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina before an international court.

Dodik told the TV1 commercial broadcaster in an interview on Friday that a suit over Pelješac Bridge would not be “productive for Bosnia and Herzegovina”. “I will not support such action although I may have good reasons to do so given Croatia’s obstruction of the construction of a bridge across the River Sava near Gradiška,” Dodik said.

The Bosnian Serb entity regards the Sava river bridge as a priority to eliminate traffic congestion at the border crossing where only the old bridge connects the Croatian and the Bosnian banks of the Sava.

The construction of a new bridge will facilitate connection of the road from Banja Luka to Croatia’s Zagreb-Lipovac motorway. The project is to be co-funded by Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same ratio, and construction work is set to begin in the spring of 2019.

Following Komšić’s statements about Pelješac Bridge and his advocacy of the recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign state, Dodik said that those statements negatively affect political processes at the regional level. Komšić was hasty in starting quarrels with both Croatia and Serbia, Dodik said, adding that Komšić was not an authentic representative of Croat interests in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The fact that Croat political representatives are voted by Bosniaks can be “a dangerous political game”, the Bosnian Serb leader said.


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