slovenija, granica, žica, ograda.jpg
Photograph: HINA / mm

The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs presented the Slovenian charge d'affaires in Zagreb on Thursday with a note of protest over the unlawful setting up of barbed wire in the territory of Croatia, namely in the Sutla river area, near the Harmica border crossing and in the Bregancica river area near the Bregana Naselje border crossing, the ministry said in a press release.

"Slovenia thus violated the territory of the Republic of Croatia which even according to the official Slovenian land records does not belong to the Republic of Slovenia," the statement said.

The Slovenian authorities were urged to remove the barbed wire from the territory of Croatia without delay.

During talks with the charge d'affaires, Croatia reiterated that the setting up of barbed wire on the border could only further hamper efforts by EU countries to agree on a viable solution to the refugee crisis. 

Croatia also made it clear that Slovenia should not use the refugee crisis as an argument in favour of the continuation of the border arbitration. Croatia said it no longer considered itself a party to the arbitration agreement after it was seriously violated by Slovenia.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Tuesday that Slovenia would erect "technical obstacles" along its border with Croatia and would make sure that it did not "prejudice the decision on the border."

Commenting on Slovenia's decision, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that the events in Slovenia "highlight the urgency of bringing about a pan-European solution."

That means securing the external borders because Slovenia is also the external Schengen border. But if the problems had been solved on the border between Turkey and Greece, Slovenia would not have had to take such extreme measures, Merkel said.

The Slovenian government has bought 120 kilometres of wire fencing to protect the most sensitive sections of its green border with Croatia.

Croatian Interior Minister Ranko Ostojic has said that Croatia will not be a hot spot for migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, after Germany has announced that it will start applying the Dublin Agreement and after Croatia has found itself between the wire fences erected on its borders with Hungary and Slovenia and the Balkan migration route remains open.

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