Montenegro PM: Bosnia Claim to Coast Destructive


News
28 Jan 15

Montenegro PM: Bosnia Claim to Coast Destructive

Ruling out international arbitration on the issue, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said Bosnian attempts to revise border issues would get nowhere – but were damaging the image of the region.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

Montenegrin leader Milo Djukanvic on Tuesday has condemned attempts by academics and some politicians in Bosnia to revive a dispute over the two countries’ borders.

The row erupted after a number of Bosnian academics claimed that a short stretch of the Montenegrin coast belonged by right to Bosnia.

The Prime Minister said that reopening questions over the Sutorina issue was destructive and unwise.

“Bosnia is making open territorial claims to a neighboring country and this could have consequences for perceptions of the region. It is not a good message to investors,” Djukanovic told the public radio broadcaster RCG.

Referring to Bosnian calls for for international arbitration over Sutorina, a part of the Adriatic coast near the Montenegrin town of Herceg Novi, Djuaknovic said international arbitration was impossible without the consent of both countries concerned. “No one should assume that Montenegro will gave its consent to discuss it,” he said.

The dispute dates back to the time when both countries were republics in the former Yugoslav federation, when Sutorina belonged to a municipality that lies inside Bosnia.

Several Bosnian intellectuals and NGOs have presented documentation, which they say shows Sutorina belonged to the newly formed Yugoslav republic Bosnia shortly after the Second World War as well.

The area in dispute comprises 75 square kilometers and includes five villages and the river Sutorina. If it was given to Bosnia, it would give the largely landlocked country a second access point to the Adriatic Sea, aside from small stretch of coast around Neum of around 24 kilometers.

Montenegro’s stance is that the demarcation of the border with Bosnia is complete and cannot be revised at this stage.

After six years of negotiation, the two former Yugoslav republics finished the technical process of determining their border in May 2014, and the two governments adopted the agreement in November.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)