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21 Jun 2020, 14:29 PM
June 21, 2020 - Former State Department spokesman Adam Ereli points out in an author's text published on ibtimes.com that Montenegro under Milo Djukanovic violates the basic preamble of the NATO alliance, which calls on member states to "preserve the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law. "
 
Montenegro aspires to be a respected member of the Euro-Atlantic community. Unfortunately, the blatant kleptocracy of Montenegro’s leadership calls into question its suitability as a NATO ally and fitness to join the European Union.
 
President Milo Djukanovic has been running Montenegro  – either as Prime Minister or President — for the past 30 years. His record of venality and corruption rivals that of any autocrat. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project awarded Djukanovic its “Person of the Year Award” in 2015, in recognition of “his work in creating an oppressive political atmosphere and an economy choked by corruption and money laundering.” 
 
“Nobody outside of Putin has run a state that relies so heavily on corruption, organized crime and dirty politics,” the OCCRP wrote. “It is truly and thoroughly rotten to the core.”
 
In 2020, Freedom House downgraded its ranking of Montenegro from "a new democracy" to a “hybrid authoritarian regime," based on a sterling record of judicial interference, violations of religious freedom, attacks against the press and abuses of power. Assaults on journalists and the silencing of the opposition have become accepted practice. 
 
Today’s Montenegro is drowning in Chinese debt, and Djukanovic has run out of money to feed the hungry mouths of his state apparatus. Which explains his latest shakedown: the Serbian Orthodox Church. 
 
Late last year, the Government of Montenegro passed a “Law on Religious Freedom,” which in reality is a thinly disguised land-grab. The law not only requires all religious groups to register with state authorities but also to prove ownership of property built before 1918. If they cannot do this to the government's land registry satisfaction, the property becomes state-owned. Should the church contest land seizures or contentious claims, they must do so before the same Djukanovic-controlled body responsible for adjudicating the legal validity of their land ownership documents. Once a decision has been made, there is no right to appeal.
 
This is a full-frontal assault on the  Serbian Orthodox Church — the 800-year-old branch of Christian Orthodoxy that is the faith of more than 80% of Montenegrin citizens. The state authorities have made separate legal agreements with Montenegro ’s small Muslim and Jewish communities that exempt their properties. It should come as no surprise therefore that the law only passed in Parliament because Djukanovic’s government detained opposing MPs, along with dozens of priests, monks and even a bishop. Tens of thousands of Montenegrins took to the streets in protest.
 
The preamble to the NATO Treaty calls on Member “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” Under the rule of President Djukanovic, Montenegro is clearly violating both the letter and spirit of this commitment. The people of Montenegro deserve NATO’s protection, even though the nation's military provides little more than one thousand soldiers and a handful of obsolete, Cold War-era planes. That does not mean, however, that the alliance should provide cover for a renegade head of state and his government.
 
Ambassador Adam Ereli is a former State Department spokesman for Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice
 
 
21 Jun 2020, 14:16 PM
June 21, 2020 - The first flights were seen at the airport in Tivat this morning, which also re-established commercial air traffic in this airport after the break caused by the coronavirus, the company announced.
 
A Montenegro Airlines plane took off again from Tivat to Hanover at 6:30 am, while at 11:20 am 70 passengers landed from the same German city, the statement said.
 
They add that from the beginning of May until June 21, about 300 passengers landed at Tivat airport with general aviation, i.e. small, private, planes, which is approximately the same number as last year in terms of non-commercial air traffic.
 
"These results are reminiscent of last year and, although we are speaking here about general aviation, it all gives us optimism that the air travel season is slowly warming up. As far as commercial traffic is concerned, in June and August, we expect a huge step forward compared to the previous period," said PR for Airports of Montenegro Marina Miketić Nikolić.
 
"The next flight from Tivat Airport is expected on June 23 and 30 to/from Dusseldorf, with Eurowings," the Montenegrin airport said in a statement.
21 Jun 2020, 14:00 PM
June 21, 2020 - Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has called parliamentary and local elections for August 30.
 
"Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, after holding consultations on June 16 with representatives of parliamentary parties and coalitions who responded to his invitation, spoke on the occasion of setting a date for parliamentary elections. In line with his competencies and the deadlines prescribed by the Constitution of Montenegro, The Law on Election of Councillors and Deputies, and the Law on Local Self-Government for local-level elections, the President approved the Decision on announcing elections for deputies to the Parliament of Montenegro and the Decision on announcing elections for councillors to the Municipal Assembly of Andrijevica, the Assembly of the Municipality of Budva, the Assembly of the Municipality of Gusinje and the Assembly of the Municipality of Kotor," it was announced from the office of the President.
 
The date of the elections for councillors to the Municipal Assembly of Tivat, it is added, is determined by the Decision on amendments to the Decision on announcing elections for councillors to the Municipal Assembly of Tivat.
 
"Following the aforementioned decisions by the President of Montenegro, which enter into force on the day of its adoption, the elections for deputies and councillors will be held on August 30, 2020," the statement concludes.
20 Jun 2020, 03:01 AM
June 20, 2020 - The institute's laboratories analyzed 259 samples during the day, 18 of which were positive for the new coronavirus, the Institute of Public Health (IPH) announced. At the moment, there are 31 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the country, the cases having been registered in last few days after 42 days without new cases, a brief period that assured Montenegro corona-free status. The number of the cases in the Western Balkans has been increasing in last few days, especially in Serbia and North Macedonia.  

According to IPH, the new COVID-19 patients are from:

Rožaje - 13
Podgorica - 2
Bar - 1 
Ulcinj - 1 
Cetinje - 1
 
"13 new patients are contacts of previously confirmed cases. For three of these, some data indicate imports from Albania and Serbia, while two new patients are currently without a known source of infection," the statement said.
 
They point out that epidemiological research and the identification of contacts for the newly confirmed COVID-19 cases are underway.

There are currently 31 active COVID-19 cases in Montenegro:

Rozaje: 14
Podgorica: 9
Berane: 2 Budva: 2
Cetinje: 2
Bar: 1
Ulcinj: 1
20 Jun 2020, 02:46 AM
June 20, 2020 - In the last decade, the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University of Montenegro has implemented 40 national, bilateral, international, and economic projects.
 
The Vice Dean for Development and Innovation prof. Dr. Tatijana Dlabac says that the Faculty of Maritime Studies has been the coordinator or partner in project applications under regional and international programs, of which the most noteable are: TEMPUS, ERASMUS +, Interreg IPA, HERD, HERIC, and EUREKA.
 
"Within these projects, modern equipment has been successfully procured, including simulators for practical teaching, as well as laboratories, a computer center, and a Seafarers' Training Center, classrooms and other spaces necessary for continued scientific research work of teachers and associates," said Dlabac.
 
However, according to Dlabac, the successful implementation of these projects represents not only an advantage for the Faculty, but also for the development of society. One of these is the Erasmus + project Sustainable Development of Blue Economies through Higher Education and Innovation in the Western Balkans (BLUEWBC), which started in January this year. "This project should improve the current situation in the field of blue economies, innovation, and entrepreneurship through capacity building in higher education and connecting the academic community with the economy," said Dlabac.
 
In addition to this project, a project from the EUREKA program, four bilateral projects with Serbia, two bilateral projects with Slovenia, and one Interreg IPA project are underway. The start of the implementation of three more Interreg IPA cross-border projects is planned for July this year.
 
"We emphasize the excellent cooperation with project partners from Albania, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Norway, and Lithuania," said Dlabac.
 
She emphasises that, at this moment, it is essential to create an exciting, innovative, and dynamic environment that will attract as many young and talented students and motivate academic staff to get involved in the implementation of this and many other activities carried out at the Faculty and University.
 
"All our teachers and associates actively publish scientific papers in renowned journals, as well as at conferences that are primarily related to the maritime profession. It is good practice at our Faculty to share all information at meetings of teaching staff or in the form of notices that are displayed on the website of the Faculty after each established cooperation, participation in conferences, bilateral visits, etc. In this way, younger colleagues are informed of the various forms of scientific research work provided today by the University as a whole," states Dlabac.
 
The development of distance learning, lifelong and regular education of seafarers, organization of trainings for students and seafarers are in the constant focus of the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Kotor.
 
 "At the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Kotor, intensive work is being done on the development of maritime education and training, which are an integral part of every sailor's career. "Our teachers and associates have been using the Moodle platform and additional resources for distance learning for many years, which was extremely important, primarily ensuring the regular work of students and teaching staff during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Dlabac.
 
Source: Boka News
19 Jun 2020, 22:09 PM
June 19, 2020 - There is no feedback for now on when Montenegro Airlines planes will be allowed to land at the airport in Belgrade again, the national airline claims in a statement for CdM.
 
 
Namely, on May 26, the Directorate of Civil Aviation of Serbia passed a measure banning the landing of Montenegro Airlines planes at Belgrade's "Nikola Tesla" Airport.
 
Montenegro Airlines emphasizes that intensive communication is taking place between the competent institutions to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
 
"As has been said many times, the epidemiological situation dictates the situation, and MA is ready to resume traffic as soon as the conditions are created," the national airline states.
 
They note that this is a route that is extremely important for MA.
 
"It is also crucial for Air Serbia. And they, just like us, are interested in resuming flying. In this situation, we are suffering significant damage together, which is seriously increasing every day because we are now entering the period of the most intensive traffic we have been waiting for all year long. We are unable to have any influence beyond the fact that we have offered the right travel conditions, lower fares, joint offers with hotels and agencies, prepared planes, and crews. We are waiting for the situation to improve," MA said in a statement for CdM.
 
While waiting for a solution to Belgrade's situation, the national airline is operating on routes to several European destinations:
 
• LJUBLJANA
The first flight to Ljubljana took place on June 12, and Montenegro Airlines will be flying to the capital of Slovenia on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
 
• FRANKFURT
Flights will run regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays; the service to/from Frankfurt was re-established on June 14.
 
• VIENNA
Flights to/from Vienna resumed on June 15, and the national airline will be offering this destination on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
 
• ZURICH
The first post-epidemic flight to Zurich took place on June 17, and passengers can use this route on Wednesdays and Sundays.
 
• DÜSSELDORF
Flights to/from Dusseldorf start on June 20, and will be offered on Saturdays.
 
• COPENHAGEN
Flights to/from Copenhagen will be re-introduced on June 20. The next flight to this destination is planned for June 27, after which Montenegro Airlines will be assuring the route twice a week: on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
 
• MUNICH
The first flight to Munich will take place on June 21, and for this month a service will be provided once a week, on Sundays.
 
• HANOVER
Flights to Hanover with Montenegro Airlines will be re-established on June 21. Flights will be offered on Sundays.
 
"We expect to establish regular traffic to other destinations, as well as gradual normalization by the end of the month, all in line with an improvement in the number of Covid-19 patients in these countries, as well as travel restrictions," the national airline said on its website. 
19 Jun 2020, 21:45 PM
June 19, 2020 - The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) decided today to further open Montenegro following with the highest level of protection of citizens, foreigners who live in our country and tourists, the body announced.

NKT carefully analyzing epidemic situation in Serbia

The NKT stated that the smooth flow of people and goods is the strategic policy of Montenegro. It was concluded unanimously that a decision on opening the county for Serbia could be rendered after the outcome of the recent sporting event in Belgrade is known.

NKT forms three lists of countries 

On the proposal of the Institute for Public Health, the NKT adopted a set of criteria for increasing Montenegro’s accessibility, opening borders and enabling unhindered international traffic while adhering to the measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
 
The new approach is based on the following principles:
 
1: non-discrimination – the decision is made on the basis of the stay of a non-resident
2: flexibility – the decision is made on the basis of the epidemic situation with high tolerance for the needs of transit through Montenegro
3: joint and coordinated approach – Montenegro as a leader of European integration shall lift measures in communication and exchange of epidemic data with the EU states and candidate countries.
 
In line with these principles, three lists of countries have been formed depending on: the number of active and new cases of coronavirus, trends in the number of infections and the overall response of a specific state to the pandemic, taking into consideration available information on testing capacities, surveillance, tracing contacts, treatment and reporting.
 
Countries whose residents are allowed to enter Montenegro are: Algeria, Angola, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Brunei, Bulgaria, Bhutan, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Philippines, Finland, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Greenland, Georgia, Guyana, Guinea, the Netherlands, Croatia, Indonesia, Ireland, Iceland, East Timor, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, South Sudan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Kenya, China, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Hungary, Malawi, Malta, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Ivory Coast, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Slovakia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Senegal, Slovenia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Saint Lucia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
 
Countries whose residents are allowed to enter Montenegro with a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Turkey, Israel, Poland, Romania, Italy and Ukraine.

NKT lifts restrictions 

Restrictions on the number of passengers on general aviation have been lifted.
 
The same rules apply to all passengers on yachts.
 
In line with the recommendations of the EC, the Institute for Public Health proposed and NCB accepted exempting specific categories from these criteria as these persons are necessary for the functioning of vital services. Special requirements of entering and exiting Montenegro will refer to:
 
1. Healthcare workers, health researchers and scientific workers;
2. Persons in charge of securing transport of passengers and goods;
3. Diplomats, staff in international organizations, military staff and workers in humanitarian organizations;
4. Specific categories of passengers in transit;
5. Persons who need international protection or come to Montenegro for other humanitarian reasons.

Measures to come into force on Sunday

All  measures will come in force on Sunday, 21 June.
 
The NKT carefully analyzed  the development of the epidemic in the region and beyond, and the fact that epidemic research on the methods of importation and possible local transmission has not yet been finalized is another reason to adhere fully to the measures.
 
Results of the epidemic and security checks indicate that after almost 30 days of zero cases in Montenegro, the virus was imported again due to irresponsibility of individuals. Therefore, all competent institutions have an additional motive to fully implement measures prescribed by law and prosecute those who threaten citizens.
 
The NKT has adopted a weekly report on donations. To 15 June 2020, the total inflow amounted to €8.025.177,90, while the total outflow amounted to €7.758.173,33.
 
Source: CDM English
 
19 Jun 2020, 01:36 AM
June 19, 2020 - The National Coordination Body (NKT) has decided that the Institute of Public Health will temporarily exclude Bosnia and Herzegovina from the list of countries from which enters Montenegro without a measure of institutional isolation.
 
According to yesterday's NKT decision, the citizens of Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and countries from the Institute of Public Health List are allowed to enter Montenegro from Bosnia and Herzegovina with the obligatory negative PCR test of an accredited laboratory, not older than 48 hours. The measure will be applied from today until Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina agree on clear procedures for the exchange of information on the control of persons coming to Montenegro through third countries from third countries ", explained the NKT.
 
Passengers will not be able to enter Montenegro from Bosnia and Herzegovina during the validity of this measure through the border crossings Šćepan Polje - Hum, on the road Plužine - Foča and Meteljka - Metaljka on the way Pljevlja - Čajniče.
 
According to the director of the Institute of Public Health, Boban Mugoša, the examinations completed so far by that health institution show that most of the newly registered COVID-19 patients are cases imported via Bosnia and Herzegovina from countries that are not on the list. The Institute had to react promptly and make decisions that would contribute to "having a safe or largely safe entry from Bosnia."
 
"Today, a decision was made that all our citizens and foreigners who come from Bosnia must have a negative PCR test, at most 48 hours old, done in an accredited laboratory," Mugoša concluded.
18 Jun 2020, 21:28 PM
June 18, 2020 - Civil activists and opposition parties have accused the police of using excessive force when they moved in on Wednesday to arrest a mayor and several councillors in the town of Budva.
 

Montenegrin civil activist and opposition parties on Thursday accused the police of breaching their powers during the arrest of an opposition mayor and councillors in the town of Budva.

On Thursday, the Council for Civic Control of the Police, an independent body tasked to oversee police forces, warned that some officers had exceeded their powers.

“Police officers used physical force to exceed their authority during the arrest of the Secretary for Investments of the Municipality of Budva, Mladen Mikijelj. They should have ceased use of physical force and concrete intervention as soon as Mikijelj ceased to resist,” the council said.

On Wednesday, police arrested the mayor of the resort of Budva, Marko Carevic, the chief of the local assembly, Krsto Radovic, and several others, after they refused to hand over power.

Heavily armed police surrounded the municipal building and arrested the town management, using force and tear gas to disperse protesters around the building.

Civil society organizations and opposition parties demanded the resignation of police chief Veselin Veljovic after media published a video of an officer kneeling on Mikijelj’s neck while he was lying on the ground, handcuffed. They also alleged that the police had behaved brutally on the orders of the government in Podgorica.

On Wednesday, the US ambassador, Judy Rising Reineke, called on all parties avoid violence or use of force. British ambassador Alison Kemp said human rights and respect for the law were the basis of democracy. “We cannot apply these rights and laws selectively. I would especially call for refraining from violence and the use of force,” Kemp wrote on Twitter.

The arrests came after weeks of tension in the wealthy tourist hot spot between the local authorities, represented by the main opposition parties at the national level, and the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, which has run Montenegro for almost three decades.

The ruling coalition that won the elections in Budva in 2016, led by the opposition Democratic Front and the Democrats, had refused to hand over power after one of its councillors switched sides to support the DPS, which is headed by Montenegro’s veteran leader, Milo Djukanovic. As a result of this move, the opposition-run local government lost the majority in the assembly.

On June 11, the new DPS-led majority dismissed Carevic and Radovic and elected a new mayor and chief of the local assembly.

Carevic accused them of forming a new majority through political corruption, and on June 12, Radovic refused to allow the new management to take power in the town.

Although Montenegro says it upholds human rights and the rule of law, police violence remains a common feature, even it is no longer seen as acceptable.

So far, the European Court for Human Rights has ruled on one police brutality case against Montenegro, while two other cases are pending before the court against Montenegro, both alleging police brutality during 2015 anti-government protests.

Source: Samir Kajošević, balkaninsight.com

18 Jun 2020, 21:20 PM

June 18, 2020 - After the analysis of 142 samples, Institute for Public Health reported another four COVID-19 cases. New cases are from Budva (1), Berane (1) and Podgorica (2).

“Two cases are contacts of previously known cases while source of infection for the other two cases is still unknown”, Institute said.

There are currently 13 active COVID-19 cases in Montenegro: 7 in Podgorica, 2 in Berane, 2 in Budva, 1 in Rožaje and 1 in Cetinje.

Epidemic research has established that nine 9 out of 13 cases have been imported or directly connected to the importation.

Having regard to the number of contacts of all identified cases, their movement and current status, Institute for Public Health has proposed introduction of specific preventive measures  aimed at preventing virus from spreading further, the most important of which is mandatory face coverings in public places. As prescribed earlier:

-legal entities and entrepreneurs dealing with commerce are obliged to make sure every employee is wearing a mask;

– employees of hairdressers’ and cosmetic saloons and users of their services are obliged to wear masks. When an employee is providing shaving service or cosmetic face treatment, an employee is obliged to wear protective mask and a visor;

-owners of betting and gambling places are obliged to make sure users of their services are wearing masks;

– state authorities, regional units and branches of the Ministry of Interior, Real Estate Administration and other state authorities and self-government authorities shall make sure employees and users of services are wearing protective masks;

-cultural institutions must make sure that employees and users of their services are wearing face masks;

-passengers in public transport in intercity and city traffic are obliged to wear masks;

– employees of the public sector are obliged to wear masks during their work;

-driving instructors are obliged to wear masks;

– hospitality workers are obliged to wear masks.

Source: CDM English

18 Jun 2020, 16:05 PM

June 18, 2020 - The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) has taken the decision that protective masks be mandatory in all public places. The order comes into force today.

"The NKT, bearing in mind the dramatic increase in the number of individuals infected with Covid-19 in several countries in the region, and the number of new infections in Montenegro, took the decision on the wearing of protective masks in all public places," states the Twitter account of the Government of Montenegro.

The Institute of Public Health confirmed yesterday that there are currently seven active cases of coronavirus in Montenegro.

The Director of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro (KCCG), Jevto Eraković, told TVCG this morning that it is certain that all the newly registered cases of coronavirus in Montenegro have been imported. He said that, considering the irresponsible behaviour of citizens, it was to be expected that the virus would reappear in our country.

Eraković said that he expects that the number of new infections will be even higher in the coming days.

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