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Adriatic island lessee threatens to launch arbitration against Montenegro

Author Radomir Ralev
Adriatic island lessee threatens to launch arbitration against Montenegro Montenegro's Sveti Stefan, Photo: Jigsaw

PODGORICA (Montenegro), May 31 (SeeNews) - Greek businessman Petros Stathis, owner of Montenegrin special purpose vehicle Adriatic Properties which holds the development, operating, and leasehold rights for the Sveti Stefan resort on the eponymous island, said he plans to launch an arbitration against Montenegro after the government decided to allow partial public access to the resort.

Aman Resorts, which operates three hotels on the island under a 30-year lease agreement, will not open them during the summer after the government's decision, Stathis said, as seen in a video file posted on the YouTube channel of private TV broadcaster A1 on Friday.

"This was Aman’s decision, not mine. Aman could no longer do business here. This is a financial disaster for me," Stathis said, adding that the arbitration court in London will resolve the matter.

Stathis also said he was ready to sell the Sveti Stefan island resort to an Italian investor to whom he had agreed to sell Universal Bank.

Chinese business magnate Jack Ma was willing to buy Sveti Stefan last year but the deal failed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stathis added.

Adriatic Properties has been operating the Sveti Stefan island resort, Villa Milocer as well as Villa Marija and Queens Beach Hotel since 2006 under a leasehold agreement with the Montenegrin government.

Sveti Stefan island became Montenegro's most exclusive resort in the second half of the last century, visited by celebrities like Merilyn Monroe, Bobby Fischer, Sofia Loren and Claudia Schiffer.

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