Budapest - The dispute between Croatia and Hungary about the Ina-MOL issue is not a conflict between the two countries' institutions but a business dispute which should be resolved in a way that all bodies do their part of the job, Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko said in Budapest on Tuesday after a bilateral meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Laszlo Koever.
Leko and Koever met on the fringes of the 6th Conference of Southeast European Parliament Speakers which was held in the Hungarian Parliament.
- I have to underline that Speaker Koever characterised the current problems in relations with Croatia as institutional problems, Leko told Hina, speaking about the INA-MOL dispute between Zagreb and Budapest. - I think there are no institutional problems in our relations but that it is necessary that all bodies to their job, in accordance with the existing standards, Leko said adding that "Ina's problem is about a business relationship between stakeholders."
Asked if Koever's statement meant that Budapest was prepared to have the dispute be resolved at a higher instance, Leko said "I would not like to speculate." - He was probably referring to differences in the position of some state institutions. I believe there are no differences, but that there is a need to hold concrete talks and agree that each institution must do its part of the job, Leko said.
The conference in Budapest, which brought together top parliamentary officials from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo, and Hungary as the host, focused on EU integration and the security policy cooperation in the Western Balkans. Leko said that good Croatia-Hungary relations were confirmed at the meeting with Koever, adding that the parliament's of both countries sent to the procedure an initiative to declare 1 May, the birthday of Nikola Subic Zrinski, the Day of Hungarian-Croatian Friendship. Koever said he would like this parliament to adopt the initiative before the elections in April 2014 and that current problems between the two countries also be resolved by then.
On the margins of today's conference, Leko also held talks with Albanian Parliament Speaker Ilira Meta and Montenegrin Deputy parliament Speaker Branka Radulovic with whom he talked about promotion of bilateral relations. Radulovic wanted to know if the dispute about Prevlaka could slow Montenegro down on its path to the European Union and Leko reiterated Croatia would not use bilateral issues to block its neighbours on their road to the EU.