Croatia insists bridge will not cut Bosnian sea access

Bosnian politicians remain opposed to controversial Peljesac bridge project to connect Croatian territories

Croatia insists bridge will not cut Bosnian sea access

World Bulletin / News Desk

A long-running row between Bosnia and Croatia over a controversial bridge continued this week, with Zagreb insisting it would continue with the project.

Croatian premier Andrej Plenkovic earlier this week maintained that the Peljesac bridge would be built on his territory to link parts of the country bisected by a small strip of Bosnian coast.

However, Bosnian politicians say the bridge, not far from the Bosnian town of Neum, which is the country’s only outlet to the sea, will hinder access to the Adriatic.

Bosnia has only 20 kilometers (12 miles) of coast.

Howecer, Plenkovic has insisted the project will benefit Bosnia, relieving cross-border traffic pressure during the tourist season.

Construction of the bridge restarted this year -- with EU funding -- after the project was halted in 2012 amid political disputes and financial difficulties.

The EU has offered a €357 million ($430 million) grant for the project, nearly 85 percent of the total cost, rejecting arguments the bridge would be partly constructed on the Bosnian waters.

The ruling Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA) said last month Bosnia-Herzegovina had never given formal approval for the bridge’s construction.

Senior SDA figure Halid Genjac said construction "would constitute a violation of international conventions, and in particular of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea".

Bosnian lawmakers also wrote a letter critical of the project to the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.

However, Bosnian news agency FENA last Friday reported Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic telling reporters in Sarajevo it was "incorrect" to assume Bosnia was against the Peljesac bridge per se and stressing Bosnia's desire for good relations with neighboring Croatia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2017, 17:39