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    A border crossing between Croatia and Slovenia is seen in Trnovec, Croatia, May 26, 2016

    Croatia Delivers Protest Note to Slovenia Over Disputed Border Crossing Fines

    © REUTERS / Antonio Bronic
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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - The Croatian Foreign Ministry has delivered a diplomatic note to the Slovenian Embassy in Zagreb in light of fines imposed on Croatian fishermen by the Slovenian authorities over illegal border crossing in a disputed part of the boundary between the countries in the Gulf of Piran, the ministry said in a statement.

    Earlier on Saturday, the Slovenian police sent out the first 14 fines to Croatian fishermen for illegally crossing the Slovenian border.

    "The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has delivered today a diplomatic note to the Slovenian Embassy in Zagreb in which it has expressed strong dissatisfaction and protest in relation to the Slovenian authorities' having started fining Croatian fishermen for fishing in Croatian territorial waters," the statement said, adding that the Croatian government would retaliate.

    Previously, the Croatian Interior Ministry had stated that at least eight Slovenian fishermen are violating the Croatian border in the Gulf of Piran on a regular basis and might be fined.

    Croatia and Slovenia have been locked in a border dispute since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. In 2009, the countries agreed to allow the Permanent Court of Arbitration to review the case. The Hague-based court awarded Slovenia with direct access to international waters in the Adriatic Sea, as well as significant portion of the Bay of Piran. However, Croatia refuses to recognize this decision.

    Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said earlier, that the country's government was preparing to file a lawsuit in the EU court against Zagreb over Croatia's non-compliance with the decision.

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