President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Saturday that it was completely clear that the Slovenian state apparatus had been used to influence the outcome of international arbitration proceedings in the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute and that the dispute could be settled only bilaterally.
Grabar-Kitarovic made the statement in a comment on a report by a Slovenian commission which shows that Slovenian state institutions had covered up unlawful communication between an arbitration agent and an arbitral judge.
"Slovenia has finally admitted the scandalous activities that resulted in the failure of the arbitration proceedings. It is now entirely clear that the Slovenian state apparatus was used to influence the outcome of the arbitration proceedings. Arbitration is long dead, and the dispute can be resolved only bilaterally," Grabar-Kitarovic said on Twitter.
The Vecernji List daily of Saturday said that the report in question showed that by using intelligence services, the Slovenian state had participated in the covering up of communication between Slovenian arbitration agent Simona Drenik and arbitral judge Jernej Sekolec, with the Slovenian intelligence agency SOVA starting to prepare for arbitration in early 2009 while the arbitration agreement was signed in the autumn that year.
The daily says that the report by the Slovenian parliamentary commission for the oversight of intelligence services proves beyond doubt that the Slovenian side had used the state apparatus and its secret services for the purpose of arbitration fraud.
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman believes that this paves the way to settling the border dispute bilaterally.
"... the Slovenian side has really admitted its own mistake and responsibility. I believe that that is a good way to return to the negotiating table and start negotiations because this is a bilateral issue," Grlic Radman told reporters in Zagreb on Saturday.
"As regards Croatia, goodwill has always existed. I believe that together with our Slovenian neighbours and friends we will find an appropriate solution," the minister said.
The Croatian parliament in late July 2015 adopted a unanimous decision to withdraw from the border arbitration agreement the two countries had signed in 2009 after Slovenia irreparably compromised the proceedings, and it proposed launching talks on an alternative way to settle the dispute.