Slovenia's new Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon is advocating that Croatia enters the Schengen Area as soon as possible, but on the condition that the border arbitration award is implemented, Vecernji List daily said on Friday.
The paper quotes Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman as saying that Croatia's Schengen entry has nothing to do with the border arbitration.
According to the Slovenian STA news agency, Fajon said Schengen should be renewed as soon as possible by setting clear and transparent rules for accession.
Fajon said she was advocating that Croatia join as soon as possible and that those rules included implementation of the arbitration award which defines the Croatian-Slovenian border.
The Croatian parliament adopted a decision to irrevocably walk out of the arbitration process because it was compromised and contaminated by Slovenia's arbitrator and agent, who used illegal means to influence the process.
Slovenia, however, insisted on the arbitration, which continued and an award was delivered which Croatia does not recognise. This was why all Slovenian governments before the last one led by Janez Janša made normalisation of relations between the two countries conditional on Croatia's recognition and application of the arbitration award, which has been unacceptable to all Croatian governments.
After a two-year arbitration break during the Janša cabinet, the problem has now returned with the new government led by Robert Golob, as indicated by Fajon's statement as well as Golob, who said recently that the award remains “an anchor in Slovenia's policy on Croatia,” Vecernji List said, adding that this could lead to new tensions between the two countries.