Determining the Border of B&H: what are the Problematic Areas?

Determining the Border of B&H: what are the Problematic Areas?


B&H Borders faktor.baRatification of the Agreement on the border with Montenegro resolved only a smaller portion of problems. Negotiations still have to be made with Serbia and Croatia.

Defining the borders with neighbouring countries is one of the issues B&H must resolve on its path towards the EU and NATO. One of the prerequisites for the accession to EU and NATO is regulation of internal borders between the member countries. Still, EU has not yet imposed to B&H the issue of borders as a prerequisite for accession.

Currently, B&H has a defined border line only with Montenegro. This ratification resolved only a smaller portion of problems since the border with Montenegro is the shortest and amounts to 294 kilometres in length.

On the border with Serbia, which is nearly 400 kilometres long, there are several problems. One of them is the territory of the settlements Međurječje and Sastavci, located between the municipalities Rudo and Priboj. Both villages belong to B&H, but are entirely surrounded by the territory of Serbia. Serbia proposed an exchange of territories, i.e. that a part of or even the entire Municipality of Rudo is annexed to Serbia, which is unacceptable for B&H.

However, definition of borders in the areas where hydro power plants Bajina Bašta and Zvornik 1 and Zvornik 2 are located imposes the greatest problem.

“Background of the problem is the money. According to the laws in B&H, all hydro power plants must pay concession to the state for using water as natural resource. These are significant financial means. Serbia proposes that the border at the area of all hydro power plants follows the bank of Drina on the B&H side, so that all those hydro power plants together with their accumulation lakes territorially belong to Serbia which is, of course, unacceptable for B&H. This causes the halt in discussions on the border between B&H and Serbia,” the source said.

When it comes to Croatia, B&H borders with Croatia in the length of over 1,000 kilometers. Defining the border line in the area of Neum, except during defining territorial waters, also affects the exit of B&H towards the open sea i.e. international waters, and this exit passes along the Pelješac peninsula – the area where Croatia intends to build the bridge mainland-Pelješac.

Other problems regarding the B&H-Croatia border are Kostajnica, where the border according to the international law on defining borders should follow the middle of the river flow of the Unčica River thus dividing Kostajnica between B&H and Croatia, and the village Unište, which is located in B&H but the only way to reach it is through Croatia since the entire Dinara mountain over which the road passes is mined.

For several years now, no positive moves have been made regarding these problematic issues, no solutions of any kind that would foreshadow the soon signing of agreements with these two countries.