Relationship between Croatia and Slovenia deteriorated over spying incident

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Publication Date 2019
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Slovenia has recalled its ambassador to Croatia over allegations that Zagreb’s secret services were operating in the country.

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The relationship between the countries was fraught because of a dispute over a maritime border, with Slovenia’s open access to the sea. For years, Slovenia blocked Croatia from gaining the EU membership because of the row. Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, only after agreeing to an arbitration with Slovenia. In 2015, Croatia declared it was withdrawing from that process after a recording was leaked of a judge of the arbitration court discussing the case with a Slovenian official. As a result, Croatia refused to implement the arbitration court’s judgement , which was found in favour of Slovenia in 2017.

In April 2019, Slovenian media reported that Croatian spies were responsible for the leaked recording. That prompted Slovenia to convene its national security council and recall its ambassador to Croatia for consultations. Later that month, Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec alleged Croatia that it had tried to suppress a media report that Croatian spies helped scupper efforts to end a border dispute.

Related Links
Euractive, 09/04/2019: Slovenia recalls ambassador from Croatia over spying incident
Financial Times, 09/04/2019: Slovenia recalls ambassador to Zagreb over spying spat
Politico, 10/04/2019: Slovenian PM accuses Croatia of ‘outrageous’ interference

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