Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Neum, contract.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Ministarstvo komunikacija i prometa BiH/ ua

Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia signed a contract at a ceremony held in Neum on Friday, on the joint construction of a bridge across the Sava River at Svilaj along the pan-European Vc corridor.

The countries' ministers also agreed that there were no obstacles for the construction of a bridge that will connect the Croatian peninsula of Peljesac with the mainland.

The construction of the EUR 26.9 million Svilaj bridge at the border crossing Sredanci is likely to last two years and construction should start this September.

Attending the ceremony, Croatian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said that "the Svilaj Bridge across the Sava River is an important infrastructure project within the Vc corridor."

He recalled that Croatia had already finished a majority of its motorway sections along this pan-European corridor.

Bosnia's Transport and Communications Minister Ismir Jusko, expressed satisfaction with the beginning of the implementation of one of the most important infrastructure projects for both countries.

The two ministers also agreed that there was nothing contentious in plans for the construction of the future Peljesac bridge.

The only Bosnian coastal town of Neum cuts the Croatian Adriatic coast, and the Croatian government wants to resolve the issue of better transport connection of the southernmost tip of its country, that is the Dubrovnik region, with the rest of Croatia in cooperation with the European Union. To this aim, Zagreb wants to build the Peljesac bridge.

Bosnia's authorities believe that a Peljesac bridge is Croatia's sovereign right, provided it does not prevent Bosnia and Herzegovina from having access to international waters.

Butkovic today confirmed that Zagreb perceives the Peljesac bridge as a strategic interest, and added that Bosnia and Herzegovina also had a sovereign right to unimpeded access to the high seas.

According to Butkovic, Croatia has informed Bosnia of the technical features of the future Pelejsac bridge.

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