Slovenian minister says arbitration statements part of election campaign

NEWS 24.11.2019 12:51
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Source: Ilustracija

Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar said on Saturday that the arbitration award in the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute was "final and binding" for Slovenia and that claims in Croatia about Slovenians finally admitting to having cheated in the border arbitration proceedings had to do with the coming presidential election.

Cerar made the statement in response to Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s comment on a report revealing that Slovenian intelligence services had been used from the very start for efforts by the government in Ljubljana to influence the outcome of the border dispute with Croatia.

He said that Grabar-Kitarovic’s statement had to do with the coming presidential election.

“There’s nothing new, the same tricks happen in Croatia always in the pre-election period. The arbitration award is final and legally binding and Croatia, too, has to implement it,” Cerar said on Twitter.

Commenting on the Vecernji List daily’s claims that the Slovenian state had covered up illegal communication between an arbitration agent and an arbiter, Grabar-Kitarovic said that Slovenia had finally admitted its scandalous activities that had resulted in the failure of the arbitration proceedings.

“Arbitration is long dead, and the dispute can be resolved only bilaterally,” she said on Twitter.

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry said that after impermissible communication between Foreign Ministry official Simona Drenik and Slovenian arbiter Jernej Sekolec was discovered in 2015, the arbitral tribunal analysed the case and concluded that the breach of the arbitration agreement was not that serious.

Vecernji List said that a report by a parliamentary commission for the oversight of Slovenian secret services, which is chaired by the parliamentary opposition, is actually an admission that the Slovenian secret service SOVA had from the very start of the border arbitration process provided support to Slovenian diplomats so that their attempts to lobby arbitral judges were not discovered.

As for the report by the parliamentary commission, Slovenian media cited the Slovenian Foreign Ministry as saying that it had no comment.