Bosnia and Montenegro to sign border agreement

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro to sign border agreement in disputed territory

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Two Balkan neighbours, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina will sign a border demarcation agreement over the Sutorina region, in Vienna on August 26-27, in the second Western Balkans Summit, the first summit was held in Berlin, Germany last year.

The announcement came from the Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic on Sunday in Tivot city which is close to the strategic Bay of Kotor region.

Vujanovic stressed that both countries, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro are the first of the Balkan countries to sign a border demarcation agreement.

Following the meeting with Montenegrin president, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnically Croat, Dragan Covic stressed the importance of the agreement with the neighbour country.

"The agreement with Montenegro is of special importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina since it will be the first one with one of our neighbours," said Covic on media, Balkan Insight reports.

Details on the agreement have not been released yet. 

The negotiations for the 268 kilometre long border line of Sutorina started in 2008 between the two countries.

In 2013, both countries came to the final stage of signing an agreement over the disputed area and the Bosnian government circulated a draft about Sutorina.

 Denis Becirovic -a member of parliment from Bosnia's opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) - rejected the draft circulated by the government but proposed a resolution against it.

According to Becirovic, Montenegro “illegally” grabbed Sutorina from Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1945, since Bosnia-Herzegovina was originally controlled by the Austrian Empire, Sutorina should have been given back to Bosnia. However, the border was never ratified. 

Bosnian intellectuals also contributed to this claim saying that Sutorina is now a “de jure” Bosnian territory.

Concluding, the Bosnian parliament rejected the draft but kept relations between the two countries peaceful. 

In the start of 2015 both countries focused on the disputed border line Sutorina and the Bosnian area did not send its ambassador to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro.

Subsequently Montenegrin area also rejected to send its ambassador to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina as peace was running on fragile ground.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO and the influential US congressman Michael Turner warned Bakir Izetbegovic, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a letter regarding Sutorina saying if Bosnia doesn’t end the border dispute the US could suspend aid to his country. 

Sutorina is important for Bosnia-Herzegovina because it will obtain a few kilometres of the Montenegrin coastal town of Herceg Novi to the Adriatic Sea along with a strategic place to Bay of Kotor.

TRTWorld and agencies