Photograph: Ilustracija

The Peljesac Bridge is Croatia's most important project and it will most definitely be built, however, the bridge will in no way undermine Bosnia and Herzegovina's interests, the visiting Croatian Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic and Bosnia's Transport Deputy Minister Sasa Dalipagic said in Sarajevo on Tuesday.

Minister Butkovic, who described the Pelejsac bridge as "the project of all projects", arrived in Sarajevo to discuss with Bosnia's authorities the existing infrastructure projects.

The bridge between the peninsula of Peljesac and the mainland should connect the southernmost Croatia with the rest of the country. The Bosnia and Herzegovina coastal strip of Neum cuts off the southernmost Croatian territory from the rest of Croatia. With its admission to the European Union, Croatia had to apply EU regulations at its border crossings, including the passage through the Neum section.

Bosnia's authorities have insisted that the future bridge will not prevent Bosnia from having access to international waters.

Deputy Transport Minister Dalipagic said today that the Peljesac Bridge was not disputable.

"There is no conflict. This is a matter to be decided by professionals and not by politics," he said.

Minister Butkovic said that the future bridge would not hamper Bosnia and Herzegovina's access to the high seas.

The two officials also announced that the implementation of the project of a new bridge across the River Sava at Svilaj would be accelerated.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced that a syndicate of bidders, including the Zagreb-based Viadukt and the Hering company, headquartered in Siroki Brijeg, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been chosen to build the Svilaj bridge as part of a Croatian motorway towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. The value of the entire project is estimated at EUR 22.3 million without Value Added Tax.

Those projects as well as other transport and infrastructure projects will be additionally discussed in May, when the governments of the two neighbours are expected to hold a joint meeting in Sarajevo, according to Butkovic. 

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