Oleg Butkovic Proposes Croatia-Albania Ferry Line Between Zadar and Durres

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes, earlier this week, Minister Oleg Butkovic paid an official visit to the Republic of Albania, where he met with Belinda Belluku, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of the Republic of Albania, and Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism and Environmental Protection.

At the meeting with the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, all key issues of transport connectivity, the importance of Albania’s inclusion in pan-European corridors, the possibility of transferring Croatian experience and knowledge from the EU integration process and in the field of transport were opened up.

Minister Butkovic pointed out that the cooperation of all countries on the traffic in the Adriatic-Ionian corridor is necessary, especially in the technical part of the development of future routes. Such cooperation includes technical assistance related to a better understanding of European policies in regard to transport and infrastructure, but also better use of EU funds.

Speaking about her ministry’s plans and the need to rebuild Albania’s railway network, Minister Balluku emphasised Albania’s interest in further training staff in the area. In addition, the Minister announced that the Albanian side has provided funds for the construction of the Albanian section of the corridor and that it’s realistic to expect that work on the project will begin in the spring of next year, and the estimated deadline for construction is three years.

Traffic connections between Croatia and Albania, a chance for a Croatia-Albania ferry line introduction?

Minister Butkovic emphasised the need for alternative solutions for connections between the two nearby nations. In this regard, it has been proposed to form a working group that will work on the preparation of the agreement and the establishment of a direct air route between Tirana and Zagreb, and that isn’t all.

The establishment of a Croatia-Albania ferry line is in the interest of both sides, and the Croatian side proposed the establishment of the Zadar-Durres ferry line, and on that topic a meeting and tour of the port of Durres was held, where talks were held with representatives of the port, all of whom are also interested in expanding its capacity by connecting with neighbouring countries.

Assistance to the Albanians in solving the problem of marine waste

At a meeting with Minister of Tourism and Environmental Protection Blendi Klosi, Minister Butkovic proposed the launch of measures and activities to prevent potential marine pollution by marine waste in cooperation with Croatia, Montenegro and Albania.

On top of that, the possibility of developing programmes was also discussed. Through such programmes, the Croatian side would provide additional professional and technical assistance in resolving the issue of marine waste from land and vessels generated in Albania, as well as the development of projects aimed at strengthening administrative capacity in this important segment.

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