Slovenia has been given three quarters of the Bay of Piran, the Court of Arbitration has ruled.
Slovenia, which has been in dispute with Croatia over its sea border for years, will not have direct access to international waters, but has been granted passage through the Croatian part of the sea in this area.
Slovenia’s ships and planes will be able to use this corridor leading to international waters, that is about 2.5 nautical miles-wide.
The Hague-based court also found that land border between the two countries is “for the most part indisputable.”
Ahead of the ruling, Croatian authorities and opposition said they would consider the court’s decision to be “a dead letter” and that another way to solve the dispute should be sought, “in a peaceful and sober manner.”
Slovenia, on the other hand, announced that the decision “must be respected.”
By decision of its parliament, Croatia abandoned the arbitration process in July 2015, after it was discovered that the Slovenian judge and the country’s representative before the Court agreed how to present arguments and thought of ways to influence other judges in the process. They both resigned after the discovery, but official Zagreb has since maintained that the arbitration process had been irreversibly compromised.
The agreement on arbitration was signed by the prime ministers of Croatia and Slovenia, Jadranka Kosor and Borut Pahor, in Stockholm on November 4, 2009. Prior to that, Slovenia was blocking Croatia’s admission into the EU for years because of the dispute, Beta has reported.