The Bosnian parliament has rejected the country’s claim to land in the village of Sutorina, which lies between the borders of Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the two neighbours resolve their border dispute in the Balkan region.
After the Berlin Congress of 1878 until the end of World War II in 1947, Sutorina was within the Bosnian borders. Then the region became part of the Soviet Republic of Montenegro, which was predecessor to the present state of Montenegro.
With a long history of disputes on the borders, diplomatic relations between the two countries was very limited, but the resolution of the dispute has paved the way for Montenegro to appoint an ambassador to Bosnia.
On Thursday, the office of Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic said that, “Vujanovic emphasized the need for further improvement of relations between the two countries based on the development of good neighbourly cooperation and strengthening stability in the region.”
At the beginning of this year, US Congress member Mike Turner stepped in to mediate the Bosnian and Montenegrin border dispute saying if Bosnia did not give up, the United States could suspend its aid to Bosnia.
Last year, both governments prepared a joint draft on demarcation strategy, but did not sign the document.
In November 2014, Denis Becirovic, one of the member of Bosnia’s parliament, rejected a draft agreement, but said he was willing to consult with experts on the Sutorina dispute.
Bosnian officials and intellectuals are divided on the Sutorina dispute. On one hand some claim that Montenegro took Sutorina illegally, and it should give it back to Bosnia.
The other argument is that the region belongs to the former state of Yugoslavia, and since Montenegro was within the borders of the former Yugoslavia, Sutorina should remain within the Montenegrin borders.
Croatia border dispute also resolved
Lately, Croatia and Montenegro have also been discussing their maritime borders on the Adriatic Sea.
Croatian press accused Montenegro of “seizing” the Croatian sea borders, but these claims were denied by the Montenegrin government.
The 2002 Protocol on the Interim Regime along on the Southern borders was also signed for to resolve a dispute over a small peninsula called Prevlaka on the borders of Montenegro and Croatia.
The peninsula was a point of dispute between Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The UN was monitoring the region to prevent the problem from dragging the countries into a conflict.
The Croatian and Serbian disputes on the border started after their separation from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1947. The border area is around 54 square miles within the Danube river.
In the midst of the dispute, 31-year-old Czech Republic citizen Vit Jedlicka with seven citizens declared the independence of Liberland in a seven-kilometre patch of land along the Serbian-Croatian border.
One week after the establishment of Liberland, another small region in the Slovenian and Croatian border declared its independence.
The Kingdom of Enclava was established between the Slovenian town Metlica and Croatian capital city Zagreb, in a land which was neither claimed by the Croats or the Slovenians.
Slovenia and Croatia also faced border problems after their separation from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Croatia’s application to NATO has been affected by the border dispute, and in 2008, Slovenia prevented Croatia’s accession into EU due to their disagreements.
In 2009, the EU president and prime ministers from both countries came together and signed an arbitration agreement over the borders.