The notes sent out from Bosnia and Herzegovina objecting the Peljesac bridge construction are personal stances and are not the official standpoint of the country’s state institutions, said Deputy Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Council of Ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda.
Bevanda wrote a letter to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, explaining that Council of Minister Chairman Denis Zvizdic expressed his personal stance in the note he sent on July 30.
“The stances expressed in the letter do not represent official standpoints of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they are solely the personal stances of the signatory of the letter and stances of his party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) that is,” said Bevanda.
Predominantly Bosniak political parties object the bridge construction, as they believe it might prevent large vessels from entering Bosnia’s bay of Neum and threaten Bosnia and Herzegovina’s access to open sea.
The Peljesac bridge aims at connecting the Croatian mainland and the Peljesac peninsula, in order to bypass the 15-kilometre-long coastal strip around the town of Neum that belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is Bosnia’s only access to the Adriatic sea.
The officials who objected the bridge construction referred to the Bosnia’s Presidency decision from 2007, demanding from Croatia to halt the project until the issue of identification of the sea boundary line and the country’s access to the international waters is solved.
According to Bevanda, the Council of Ministers unanimously adopted on July 19, 2017, a report by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which said there was no formal obstacle to the Peljesac bridge construction and that this matter should not be linked to the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“I’d like to point out that Mr Zvizdic did not consult the members of the Council of Ministers’ Collegium for harmonization of stances he presents nor he offered the said letter to the Council of Ministers to declare on it,” Bevanda said, reiterating that the letter was sent unilaterally and does not represent the official standpoint of the Council of Ministers.
The kick-off of the construction project was formally marked on Monday after Croatia’s state-owned road management company Hrvatske Ceste and the China Road and Bridge Corporation signed the handover of the project documents for the Peljesac bridge construction.