(Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL) (Photo: Ivo Cagalj/PIXSELL)

The prime minister said the project was of strategic importance and crucial in ensuring the integrity of the country's territory.

"We expect the bridge to be connected by the end of this year. Together with the completion of the access roads, we expect works to be finished by June 2022. We are roughly a year and a half away from the completion of this project and having a functional Peljašac Bridge that will connect the south of Croatia with the rest of the country," said Plenković.

The project, worth 550 million euros - including 357 million provided by the EU - is currently under construction by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The largest infrastructure project in Croatia in years, the bridge is intended to provide direct road access from the mainland to the southernmost part of the country by circumventing a short strip of coastal land belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina near the Pelječac peninsula.

Plenković later visited a new student dorm complex in Dubrovnik, that was financed with 216 million kuna in EU funds.

Source: HRT