LJUBLJANA, July 27. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed hope on Monday that the incident with released phone recordings in the process of border arbitration between two former Yugoslav republics, Slovenia and Croatia, would not worsen the situation in the Balkan region.
"I hope that scandals of this kind will not mar the situation in the Balkans and your cooperation," Medvedev said after talks with the Slovenian counterpart, commenting on a leak wiretap scandal in which the Slovenian member of the arbitration tribunal resigned.
Medvedev said it would be much more efficient to settle all disputes on the basis of international treaties. "I believe that any kinds of scandals are inefficient," the prime minister said.
"It is advisable that countries, all the more such close countries as Slovenia and Croatia and a number of other contiguous countries, act within the agreements that were reached in due time, to have all problems solved amicably," Medvedev said.
"Only in this case one can look into the future with confidence," he added.
"I assess that in accordance with rules of the arbitration agreement, the Croatian side cannot withdraw from the process itself. The arbitration tribunal itself has already stated that the process will continue, and as far as I know, Slovenia has already started the process of naming a new arbiter," Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said.
He said he wanted each of the sides to do all possible in the spirit of good-neighborly relations to have the process continue.
"We know that the tribunal should act independently and I hope this will bring the process to the end. This is an example of how relations between the states should be solved in a corresponding peaceful way," he noted.
Croatia and Slovenia have been for years engaged in a dispute on the line of the sea border in the northern Adriatic Piran Bay. The sides have been failing to overcome the differences since 1991, when both republics of former Yugoslavia declared independence.
Croatia insists that the border be marked in the middle of the bay, while Slovenia fears this will practically deprive it of access to the sea.