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Bay of Piran
Bay of Piran Foto: BoBo

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Court says Slovenia should have corridor to int'l waters in dispute with Croatia

29. June 2017 ob 17:55
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO, Reuters

An international arbitration court on Thursday handed Slovenia a victory in its long-standing maritime dispute with Croatia, granting it direct access to international waters in the Adriatic Sea.

The court's decision is final and binding, but Croatia withdrew from the proceedings in 2015 and has repeatedly said - as recently as last week - that it will not abide by its rulings.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration found that Slovenia should have "uninterrupted access" to the sea it shares with Croatia, presiding Judge Gilbert Guillaume said, in the case between the European Union neighbours.

The countries have been arguing over a stretch of their sea and land border since both declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 as it disintegrated into war and broke up.

The dispute, which centres on the bay of Piran, held up Croatia accession to the EU for many years. Only after both parties agreed to arbitration was Zagreb granted entry to the bloc in 2013.

Gregor Valenčič