Diplomatic tensions have flared up between Slovenia and Croatia in a long-standing border dispute, despite calls by the European Commission for the two countries to return to dialogue.

While Slovenia has said it will implement an international arbitration ruling made in June that grants Slovenia unhindered access to the Adriatic Sea, among other things, Croatia is protesting.

Croatia’s foreign minister, Marija Pejcinovic-Buric, said the border line with Slovenia was established in 1991. “And therefore nothing happened on the ground. This is without a doubt about Croatian territory and no Slovenian laws can be implemented on the territory of Croatia,” she told RTL.

Also, Pejcinovic described Slovenia’s threats of imposing fines on Croatian fishermen as “completely inappropriate, meaningless and impossible”.

In response, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said on January 3 that Pejcinovic is “misleading the public”.

“The Croatian minister is misleading the public when she says the border was confirmed in 1991. It was never confirmed, and that is precisely the reason we went into arbitration,” Erjavec said.