Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova RH

Press Release:

Zagreb, 28 December 2017 - MFEA invited the Republic of Slovenia by a note to refrain from unilateral actions and to a constructive dialogue to resolve the border issues

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs sent today a diplomatic note to the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Zagreb, inviting the Slovenian state authorities to act with restraint, avoid incidents and not to reach out for any unilateral measures aimed at changing the situation in the field to the detriment of the Republic of Croatia. The note was sent with regard to the announcement of the Slovenian side of its intention to commence with the unilateral implementation of the arbitration decision of 29 June 2017, and with regard to the statutory and implementing regulations adopted by the Republic of Slovenia in December 2017, the purpose of which was the implementation of the arbitration decision.

By a diplomatic note, the Republic of Croatia invited the Slovenian side to remain committed to the peaceful resolution of open issues, as befits two neighbouring states, EU members and allies in NATO, warning at the same time of the unacceptability of undertaking unilateral measures aimed at changing the situation in the field to the detriment of the Republic of Croatia. Any such action would be unacceptable, while measures that would include the threat of force or the use of force would, according to the United Nations Charter, represent a severe breach of international law.

The diplomatic note reminds that the implementation of arbitration decisions in the relations between states is left to the disputing parties alone and their agreement and that the Republic of Croatia has been very clear in its messages that it cannot accept the said decision and will not implement it. The Republic of Croatia withdrew from the arbitration procedure by virtue of a unanimous decision of the Croatian Parliament in 2015, after it was revealed that the Republic of Slovenia acted in violation of international law and breached the provisions of the Arbitration Agreement, as established subsequently by the Arbitration Tribunal itself. By these unlawful acts the arbitration procedure and its authenticity were irreparably compromised.

The note stresses the willingness of the Republic of Croatia to resolve with the Republic of Slovenia this still open border issue by direct agreement, for which it has also proposed an appropriate legal framework. It is also willing to negotiate the final course of the boundary line, which would be in the interest of both states and their population.  

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs especially emphasised that it expects the Slovenian side, i.e. Slovenian state authorities, not to reach out for any unilateral, or even repressive, measures and means in an attempt to implement the arbitration decision and, primarily in the interest of the population of both states living in border areas, to refrain from actions that might lead to incidents and the unnecessary heightening of tensions. The Slovenian side was consequently invited to direct its actions at finding a constructive and mutually acceptable solution to this open issue between our two states.