Russia Wants Croatia and Slovenia to Continue Border Dialogue

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Still, the Russian Minister believes that the border arbitration verdict should be implemented.

Russian Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Media Nikolay Nikiforov said on Sunday during his visit to Slovenia that the arbitration decision on the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia should be implemented, but that Slovenia should not suspend bilateral dialogue on open issues, which has recently been started by the two prime ministers, reports Večernji List on 31 July 2017.

“The decision of the international arbitration tribunal on the border between Slovenia and Croatia should be applied because it is a matter of respecting international law and the decision itself is based on legal principles,” said Nikiforov in a statement for Slovenian Television during his visit to the Vršič mountain pass.

Nikiforov also said that the Russian Federation “always stands for a consistent respect for international law.”

According to the Russian minister, in the case of a two-party dispute, the most important thing is for both sides to openly and frankly talk about it. “Therefore, I advise Slovenia not to interrupt bilateral talks,” he stressed.

Nikiforov visited Vršič in order to attend the anniversary of the deaths of Russian soldiers during the First World War, on today’s Slovenian soil, which has been marked for a number of years as a celebration of Slovenian-Russian friendship. He is the Russian chairman of the Russian-Slovenian Inter-State Commission for Economic and Cultural Cooperation. The co-chair of the Slovenian side of the Commission is Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who also attended the commemoration at Vršič.

The arbitration tribunal recently made a decision in the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia, although Croatia announced two years ago that it had left the proceedings and would not recognize or implement its decision because the Slovenian side was caught trying to influence arbitrators unlawfully. Still, Slovenia insists that the verdict of the tribunal must be implemented, particularly on the Adriatic Sea, where the tribunal ruled in Slovenia’s favour.

The European Union and some major European countries, such as Germany, have announced that the verdict must be implemented, while other nations, including the United States, say that the whole issue is a matter of bilateral relations between Croatia and Slovenia, adding that they do not want to take sides in the dispute.

Tensions between Croatia and Slovenia are slowly growing, with Slovenia insisting on implementation and Croatia proposing new negotiations about the issue. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar is expected to visit Zagreb in September and meet with Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković, but it is not expected that the meeting will bring the two sides much closer.

Translated from Večernji List.


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