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Arbitration Court To Deliver Ruling On Slovenia-Croatia Border Dispute

An international arbitration court is set to rule on June 29 on a long-standing border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia -- two former Yugoslav republics that are now EU and NATO member states.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration is due to issue its ruling on the dispute over 13 square kilometers comprising the Bay of Piran in the Adriatic Sea, as well as largely uninhabited land.

Slovenia insists it has a historic claim to the entire bay, while Croatia says it owns half of it.

Slovenia, which has just 46 kilometers of shoreline, believes its access to international waters will be at stake if the court finds in favor of Croatia, where the coast stretches 1,700 kilometers.

The two sides agreed in 2009 to send their dispute to the court in The Hague, but its ruling is unlikely to resolve the dispute.

Croatia unilaterally pulled out of the arbitration process two years ago amid a scandal over media reports revealing illegal contacts between Slovenia’s government and a Slovenian member of the arbitrage panel.

Croatia has since said that it considers the arbitration process tainted and intends to disregard it.

Slovenia has promised to implement the court ruling.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa