20 Feb 2019, 16:28 PM

February 20, 2019 - The Center for Civic Education (CCE) today announced that the Anti-Corruption Agency (ASK) should check where the President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic has money to cover the debt to Atlas Bank.

This NGO reported that they have today sent ASK the Initiative to launch the Inspection Process from the Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic's Revenue and Property Report.
"The Montenegrin public is acquainted by Dusko Knezevic, a businessman claimed by Montenegrin investigative organs, that President Djukanovic had a debt on a card at Atlas Bank. In Djukanovic's announcement, which he issued as President of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) on 23 January 2019 among other things, states: 'I am already in contact with a bank where I check the credibility of the debt information and ask for instructions on how to make this commitment if it stands.' After that, the public is informed by the Atlas Group that Djukanovic returned the debt of EUR 16,358.00 on 30 January 2019, which he confirmed in the issue of 'Ukrstene Rijeci' broadcast on the TV Prva on 14 February 2019," the CCE said.
The statement adds that the Anti-Corruption Law prescribes ASK's obligation to review data from public service reports by comparing this data with the collected information on the assets and revenues of the public official from the authorities and legal entities that have access to such data.
"By comparing data from the last three reports submitted by Milo Djukanovic to ASK, these publicly available data reveal contradictions, namely that Djukanovic did not report any debts or savings as well. Also, it is not possible to ascertain from the reported revenues of Djukanovic and his wife that they had at one time 16,358.86 euros to pay the debt to Atlas Bank because their official income was limited. From this, we conclude that Milo Djukanovic's reports do not contain accurate and complete information in this section, according to the Anti-Corruption Law, and it is necessary that ASK verifies these reports and determined by this and any other irregularities in the same and consequently undertaking the acts prescribed by law," said the CCE.
This NGO stated that he wanted to believe that in the annual plan of ASK, to review the data from the income statement and public officials' assets, Djukanovic's report was also planned. They want to believe that the Agency will, ex officio, and not only by this or other initiatives, initiate a misdemeanor procedure for failure to report accurate and complete data in the revenue and property records of the officials.
"The CCE hopes that ASK will urgently process this Initiative, bearing in mind the function that Djukanovic is doing and the public's interest for ASK to make its stand on the allegations," the statement concludes.
20 Feb 2019, 15:49 PM

20 February 2019 - Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković has asked the Public Works Directorate to terminate the contract on the construction of a kindergarten in Bar and to arrange the existing location by planting 90 cypresses.

Marković emphasized that at the moment of the discussion about the allocation of financial resources, the municipality has already had a defined location through a valid detailed urban plan, which did not include any objections from any party for its purpose during the public hearing. He added that it was only at the stage of preparation of the site for the commencement of works that an initiative to ban work had appeared which later resulted in civil protests.

"We believed that emotions were not above the need to invest in the future, and as a responsible Government, we wanted the best conditions for children in Bar. We were convinced that, when we are working in the interests of the generations to come in Montenegro, there can be no differences or politics involved," the Prime Minister said.

He announced that he was sorry that a number of citizens of Bar did not recognize the intention to ensure a better quality of their children and grandchildren.

"On the contrary, civil resistance to the project has grown into a political platform that has not been barred by the protests’ organisers. However, this Government will not work against the will of citizens, and especially we will not build kindergartens with police cordons. We will draw the lesson from this situation, which is that sometimes the commitment to build a kindergarten at a planned location is not a guarantee that the citizens want it," Marković emphasized.

He said that the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the creditor, will redirect the amount of two and a half million euros for the construction of facilities for the same purpose in another city, where the Government already has all the necessary documentation and the agreement on the common interest exists.

Marković pointed out that the selection of a new location in Bar requires complex and long procedures, so he asked the citizens for patience while creating planning, project and other conditions for the construction of a new kindergarten.

"The Bar Municipality has a very pronounced problem of lack of space in preschool institutions. In two school years, the number of children in kindergartens increased by 50 percent. Namely, in the school year 2015/2016, 940 children were enrolled in Bar, and this school year there is already 1,391 children, "the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister recalled that recognizing the problem of insufficient spatial capacities in preschool institutions in Montenegro, the previous Government with the Council of Europe Development Bank signed in December 2013 a credit arrangement worth 10 million EUR for the construction of seven kindergartens. The total value of the projects with the participation of the state is 17 million EUR.

Source: TVCG

19 Feb 2019, 23:38 PM

18 February 2019 - "Small countries like Montenegro and North Macedonia must act smartly since we do not have many resources and we must use the best we have. I think that is the whole logic of the Alliance. We cannot all be specialized in all issues but we can have advantages in some of them and offer them to our allies," said Minister of Defense of North Macedonia, Radmila Šekerinska, during the NATO summit held in Brussels last week.

In the conversation with Montenegrin journalists, Šekerinska said that during the entire negotiation process with NATO, official Skopje had the great support of Montenegro.

“When we got the new Government in 2017, several days later Montenegro entered the Alliance and I was invited to deliver a speech at the ceremony in Skopje organized by the Montenegrin Embassy. I said then, and I still think so, that Montenegro serves us as an inspiration and that even in the hardest of circumstances, one should think about the strategic objective. You have been through a very difficult political period, and we have even been through the violence and very deep political crisis. Despite everything, we managed to unite our state,” said Šekerinska.

She points out that her department has had very intense cooperation with the Montenegrin Ministry of Defense. They used our experience as an example. She states that the Macedonian transition will not be easy.

“Resources are required, people are necessary, we must act fast. We have been working a lot with my Montenegrin counterpart and did so many projects of bilateral cooperation and transformation of armed forces,” said Šekerinska.

Asked if North Macedonia is faced with strong Russian pressure, just like Montenegro, she said that there had been several statements made by official Moscow related to Macedonian NATO accession being an act against Russia.

“We want to be on good terms with Russia too, but our strategic objective has been defined since 1993. EU and NATO membership is our goal. We don't agree with those saying that North Macedonian NATO membership means NATO expansion towards the east. We decide about our own future but we want good relations with everyone,” concluded Šekerinska.

Source: Cafe del Montenegro

19 Feb 2019, 23:34 PM

18 February 2019 - Bulgaria is willing to help Montenegro accelerate progress on the path towards the European Union in order to achieve its ambitions and become the next full member, Prime Minister Duško Marković and newly-appointed Bulgarian Ambassador Maglena Plugchieva concluded at the meeting that took place in Podgorica.

Montenegro's achievements on the road to the European Union have been assessed as positive, and Prime Minister Marković emphasised that it will continue to work hard to fulfill the European Union agenda regardless of the forthcoming European elections and other challenges the Union faces.

"During its presidency of the European Union, Bulgaria did a lot for Montenegro and the entire Western Balkans. The region has become visible in the European Union," said PM Marković.

He emphasised that excellent bilateral relations should be enriched by stronger economic cooperation and in that context, stressed Montenegro's interest in improving relations in the fields of infrastructure, energy and tourism.

The two officials underscored the need for establishing an airline between Montenegro and Bulgaria. In that context, Prime Minister Marković also pointed out the Government's commitment to the airport's valorisation.

The Ambassador of Bulgaria highlighted the support of her country for the project of establishing the Institute for Sustainable Technologies according to the CERN model. It was noted that the Institute would be of great importance for the entire region of Southeast Europe.

19 Feb 2019, 14:53 PM

19 February 2019 - Improving private sector competitiveness, energy and infrastructure integration, as well as greening the economy and sustainable tourism are three priority areas in which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) wants to help Montenegro, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković and First EBRD Vice-President Jürgen Rigterink agreed at the official meeting in Podgorica.

Prime Minister Marković pointed out that the priorities of the State have been recognised by the EBRD as well, which allows for a further productive partnership. He added that Montenegro has successfully pursued economic policy in the past two years, achieved dynamic economic growth, stabilised public finances and reduced the unemployment rate. He stressed the reduction in the budget deficit, as well as the good income-generating side, both in the previous and this year.

EBRD to Assist Montenegro in Improving Green Economy and Sustainable Tourism 1

"EBRD support for around 60 projects totalling to approximately 570 million EUR is of great importance to us. Your support and confidence contributed to such economic results," said PM Marković.

He added that the continuation of strengthening the overall infrastructure, construction of the motorway, airports and ports valorisation, as well as further activities towards strengthening competitiveness and creating a favourable business environment, strengthening of small and medium enterprises and professionalization of administration is of strategic significance for Montenegro.

"The EBRD will stand by you to support you," Vice President Rigterink noted and praised the results in the field of economic policy, stressing that the international market reactions are the best indicators of the progress, referring in particular to the successful issuance of Eurobonds by Montenegro last year.

Both sides highlighted the success in the European integration process, which creates an incentive for achieving further results in opening up the remaining and creating conditions for starting the closing of negotiation chapters.

18 Feb 2019, 21:55 PM

16 February 2019 - At a session dedicated to NATO missions and operations, Defense Minister Predrag Bošković recalled that Montenegro, aware of the importance of designing stability and strengthening security beyond the borders of NATO, continues to give an active contribution to the preservation of global peace and security by sending its members to international missions and operations. 

The Allies agreed that NATO would continue to provide a decisive answer when it comes to the fight against terrorism, with a comprehensive approach that requires the engagement of the entire international community. It was emphasised that in the forthcoming period the work on building capacity and enhancement of cooperation with partners in order to combat these threats, thus strengthening the overall security of NATO, will be continued. 

Bearing in mind the unpredictable security environment, as well as the commitment of the Alliance to protect the territories and population of its members, the importance of preventive action on potential challenges from the territory outside the borders of NATO has been highlighted. In the context of possible threats that can come from different strategic directions, further activities were considered to be carried out to strengthen the NATO presence at the eastern borders, as well as the implementation of measures from the Framework for the South representing the Alliance's reaction to the challenges arising from the Mediterranean. 

Evident progress was noted in terms of cooperation between NATO and the European Union, which will remain an important partner of the Alliance in the following period. Furthermore, it was emphasised that the interconnection of international actors contributes to a more effective response to security challenges. 

Minister Bošković stressed the importance of intensifying NATO and EU co-operation, in order to facilitate the effective functioning of the two organizations, taking into account the mutual complementarity and the development of defense capacities in order to strengthen European defense. 

He also met with the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia, Karl Erjavec.

The conversation was dedicated to continuing political dialogue and strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation in the defense and security sphere. Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the intensive cooperation that is being constantly enhanced through the exchange of experience, skills and knowledge in the area of defense and security within regional initiatives, in particular through joint participation in military exercises and in international missions and operations. Bošković and Erjavec pointed to the importance of joining the Western Balkan countries to the Alliance as a guarantee of peace and stability in this part of Europe. The interlocutors also emphasised the importance of the "open door" policy, and discussed the continuation of cooperation in the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), in Latvia, as well as in the field of aviation and cooperation between the two navies.

18 Feb 2019, 12:31 PM

February 18, 2019 - The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism sent a warning to the Secretariat for Spatial Planning and Construction of the Municipality of Herceg Novi last week, because the Sea Property did not get the Municipality to respond to several requests for urban-technical conditions within the legal deadline. For this reason, they asked for the issuance of urban-technical conditions from the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.

In a document signed by Minister Pavle Radulovic, the Ministry “ordered” the Secretariat to resolve the requests as soon as possible and within 20 days from the date of receipt of the document, 11 February, and inform the Ministry thereof.
Namely, Sea Property asked the Secretariat to issue urban technical conditions for 11 locations to set or reconstruct the coastal infrastructure in Sutorina, Topla, Savina, Bijela, and the building of the promenade from Bijela to Kamenari.
For some of the Sea Property projects, it had asked for conditions in August, September, and December last year. In the letter to the Ministry, the Sea Property said that they did not receive answers within the "legal deadline." Among others, they are "waiting" for technical conditions for the reconstruction of the existing bathing area at Zager, and the requirements for the construction of a sidewalk from Kamenari to Bijela in the length of 1300 m.
Secretary of the Secretariat for Spatial Planning and Construction Marina Sekulic said Radio Jadran that issuing technical conditions for drafting the conceptual solution for the Zager spa reconstruction, explaining why there was a "deadlock in administration":
"The Sea Property was informed to ask for new urban-technical conditions for the restoration of the facility because based on the previous ones, issued in 2015, the technical documentation and the issued building permit have already been made. Only after obtaining new urban-technical conditions for the preparation of technical documentation for the reconstruction of the facility or bathing grounds, it is possible to make a preliminary solution submitted to the consent of the chief city architects, based on the Law on planning and the construction of the facilities. Subject to the legal provisions, the Secretariat has rejected the claim of the Sea Property as unfounded. The Sea Property has submitted a new request for issuing urban-technical conditions for the development of technical documentation for the reconstruction of the existing object - the Zager bathing resort in Bijela, based on the Spatial Plan of Special Purpose for the Coastal Area of Montenegro and the urban project for the hotel complex Zager in Bijela. After collecting all the necessary technical conditions, we will be able to issue the required urban- technical terms for this reconstruction and only after that the investor can access the design solution that will be submitted to the consent of the city's architects," Sekulic said, not mentioning when they will issue the technical conditions.
"When it comes to the construction of a sidewalk from Bijela to Kamenari, the Secretariat has issued the required conditions and submitted it to the Applicant, the Sea Property. And in this case, just after the issuance of urban- technical terms, the requirements for the creation of the Idea Solution will be obtained and submitted to the consent of the chief city architects according to the legal provisions," explained Sekulic.
Source: Radio Jadran
18 Feb 2019, 10:50 AM

February 18, 2019 - Tivat businessman Rado Gago Arsic on Friday, 15 February threatened Dragan Popadic, the director of the local Radio Tivat. Popadic reported it to the police, who met with the state prosecutor at the Basic State Prosecution in Kotor. The prosecutor pleaded not to have elements of the criminal offense in Arsic's conduct, and the police against him filed a misdemeanor complaint about the repression of public order and peace. The case sharply condemned the Union of Local Public Broadcasters of Montenegro ( ULES CG ), as well as the Union of Media and the Union of Information, Publishing and Graphic Activities.

"Returning from the City Chapel, at a nearby parking lot, Rado Arsic called Gago, stopped me wanting to talk about Radio Tivat's writing about the court case leading his family. Ironically, Radio Tivat did not even write about it, but this case was interesting for another media. I refused to talk to him and continued to walk. He followed me, grabbed my hand and began to threaten me that I will pay him when I go to retire. I said I would report it to the police, and he replied: "Just try it." I submitted it with the police who was very professional. I am sure they will handle this case professionally," Popadic said immediately after the incident.
After the announcement of Popadic, the police took a statement from Arsic. He denied that he had threatened Popadic not to dispute that he had stopped him and talked with him about reporting to Radio Tivat.
The state prosecutor in Kotor pleaded Arsic's conduct not to have any elements of the criminal offense. Accordingly, as well as facts, the Security Department Tivat will file a misdemeanor report against Arsic for misdemeanor offenses on public order and peace.
The Union of Local Public Broadcasters of Montenegro strongly condemned the attack on the vice president of the board of directors of this association and director of Radio Tivat, Dragan Popadic.
One of the founders of ULES CG, a longtime member of the Steering Committee and a director of the local public broadcaster, a prominent journalist and publicist, reported to the police that a citizen for alleged media reporting attacked him.
"We appeal to the authorities to examine allegations and protect the freedom of information and the integrity of journalists, and we expect them to react adequately," ULES said in a statement immediately after the incident.
"It is unacceptable for journalists to cross the streets and threaten them on any ground. As a result, as in all similar or more serious situations that took place in Montenegro, we stand in defense of the profession and freedom of the media. Particularly note that this is not the first time that there are pressures on members of our association, directors, and journalists, whether verbal or through disseminating and submitting disinformation, "noted ULES.
"Considering that Popadic, as a representative of the ULES CG, is a member of the Working Group for Drafting the Law on Electronic Media, we propose that part of this document should be deported to guarantee the protection of the journalist profession and personality. We have for many years demanded the protection of citizens from the misuse of the media for various purposes,” according to a statement by ULES, signed by the Chairman of the Management Board of this organization, Dragic Rabrenovic.
"The Media Union and the Union of Information, Publishing and Graphic Activities have been worried about receiving the news of Radio Tivat's director, Dragan Popadic, and most strongly condemn this event," the two unions said on Saturday.
"And this case shows that despite many years of warnings from the UN, European Commission, foreign diplomatic representations and other relevant addresses, the security of journalists in Montenegro is steadily declining. At the same time, the number of attacks on journalists exponentially increases, as evidenced by the case in Tivat, where the director of one of the most successful Montenegrin local broadcasters fighting for independence and objectivity in reporting attacked local businessman Rado Arsic. Surprisingly, the attack did not occur because of dissatisfaction with the text or the reporting of this local broadcaster, but because of the interest of a court process in which this person is intensely involved.
This is enough to tell how much the environment in Montenegro is currently safe for independent journalists. The many years of tolerance of journalist attacks and weak results in detecting and prosecuting perpetrators create a climate in which the environment for independent journalism is completely jeopardized by warnings and all international representatives when speaking of media freedom in Montenegro.
The Media Union and the Union of Information, Publishing and Graphic Industries, therefore, ask the police and judicial bodies to prove that they will not tolerate the violence against journalists. They ask the state of Montenegro will show in practice that creating a safe environment for the journalistic profession is one of the fundamental prerequisites for the development of democracy," highlighted in a joint statement the Media Union and the Union of Information, Publishing and Graphic Activities.
17 Feb 2019, 22:12 PM

February 17, 2019 - On th second civic protest under the slogan "97,000 Odupri Se" (97,000 Resist), several thousand people gathered in Podgorica on Saturday, 16 February, and urged the resignations of President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stankovic, the Special State Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic and Director of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption Sreten Radonjic.

"The main cause for organized crime is the loud silence of state institutions on the occasion of the current scandal - the "Koverta" affair, which represents the paradigm of the situation in our society, which is only one of many that shake Montenegro," the organizers of the protest said.
In front of the building of the Supreme State Prosecutor's Office and the Special State Prosecutor's Office, thousands of gathered citizens responded to the organizer's appeal and did not emphasize any national and party features. Instead, they carried the transparencies "We are a state," "Without freedom, there is no state," "Freedom to the people - stop crime," "Milo, does your family know you are a starlet?", "Bunt”...
Before the start of the protest, there was a minute of silence, followed by a whirling siren, which has been posted to all victims of the regime for the past 30 years. The actor Slavisa Grubisa as a free citizen said that "our freedom has no price and not being sold in the envelopes."
"We demand that the Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stankovic, Special State Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić and Agency for Prevention of Corruption Director Sreten Radnjić urgently resign. We demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and President of the State Milo Djukanovic," Grubisa submitted initial protest requests.
Citizens embarked on a protest walk from the Supreme State Prosecutor's Office and then continued to institutions, to which the protest addressed - the buildings of the Central Bank of Montenegro, the Assembly, the President and the Central Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS). During the protest walks, citizens screamed "Milo, Thief," "Everyone on the Street," "DPS Thieves," "Resignations," "Milo, Liar," "We Want Justice," "Rise, People, Street of Liberty."
Former Liberal Alliance officer Dzemal Perovic said there was no "healthy tissue" in the government, claiming that the only healthy tissue in the Montenegrin society was in protest.
"Is it necessary to explain here tonight why we should resist? Do we have to say that they came as hooligans of a policy, led Montenegro into war, committed war crimes, smuggling, robbery privatization and all that we know in these 30 years," Perovic said.
He told the government representatives to "hate their bests" as they robbed us, cheat, sell and buy and "what's the most hurt, present us in the world."
"It is important to say Europe feels this shame, to know that normal people live here. We do not expect them to exploit European values. We have those values; we are demonstrating them here tonight. We are fighting for human rights, freedom, security, and dignity. From today, we are committed as Europe's partners," Perovic said, calling for unity:" Since we have set ourselves this magnificent goal, to free Montenegro from them (the ruling DPS and partner parties) and begin to root the system change, there is no difference between us tonight, or in the next gatherings. There are differences, we will articulate them when we build democratic institutions of the systems, which are not in Montenegro," said Dzemal Perovic, one of the members of the Organizing Committee.
One of the organizers of the protest, Jovan Gajevic, addressing the participants in front of the President's office, said: "It is time to act."
"We're normal, not them. It's the government who have no sense of responsibility and public interest, not us. They are who have no idea what they are doing, not us. They are those who lie, cheat and scorn themselves and the country they are kneeling, not us. They are the ones who steal us, not us, "Gajevic said. “They deserve to disappear from our public life," he said.
The protest walk continued to the DPS Headquarters in the Jovan Tomasevic Street. Miloš Krivokapić stated “We have to fight for freedom because we have a feudal system in the face. We are fighting for achievements the French bourgeois revolution in 1789."
"Have you forgotten that Svetozar Marovic has admitted that he is the leader of a criminal organization, and is now "under treatments" in Belgrade cafes? Crash in Montenegro is the best remedy for a guilty plea. Is that a proof that the reality of the wrongs is understandable and that the judiciary is going to fall?" Krivokapic said.
He pointed out that there are over 700 employees in RTCG, Railways, hundreds of employees at the Central Bank, Waterworks, Cleaners, Airports of Montenegro, Electricity Services ... Krivokapic emphasized that there were more than 97,000 reasons why power has to go and why a fundamental change of system is needed, with the change of government.
The protest march went back to the prosecutor's office via the Millennium Bridge.
After returning to the Prosecutor's Office, Denis Mekic said the regime led to the collapse of northern Montenegro, whereby DPS "satellites" - representatives of the Bosniak Party and other "satellite parties" helped them.
"Let's not forget why we do this. Today there are 10,000 citizens here. We will be persistent. As long as necessary, we will return to our Street of Freedom," Mekić said.
"We call on citizens and all progressive forces of society to actively engage in formulating and designing specific demands and actions to root the changes of the system. We are investigating the achievement of our goal, all available forms of nonviolence and civil disobedience," one of the organizers, actor Slavisa Grubisa, said.
The protest has gone smoothly and in a positive atmosphere. The organizers announced the demonstration every Saturday until meeting the requirements.
16 Feb 2019, 00:08 AM

15 February 2019 - At its latest session, the Government of Montenegro passed the Draft Law on the Ratification of the Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO and sent it to Parliament for adoption under the shortened procedure.

The rationale of the proposed law states that, by reaching a historic agreement with Greece on the new name in June 2018, the integration of the Republic of North Macedonia into NATO, after many years of stagnation, marked significant progress and at the NATO Summit in July 2018, Macedonia was invited to start accession talks with the Alliance. With the adoption of constitutional changes in the Parliament and the ratification of the Prespa Agreement by the Greek Parliament, the conditions for the signing of the Protocol on the Accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO were created at the North Atlantic Council meeting (NAC) on 6 February 2019.

The discussion, where several members of the Cabinet took part, highlighted the efforts, visionary and courage in the process of stabilising the situation in Macedonia and the opening of the European and Euro-Atlantic perspective of the country, as well as the continuous support that Montenegro has provided at the meetings between the two prime ministers Duško Marković and Zoran Zaev, as well as on other occasions. Montenegro wants, the discussion stressed, to be among the first NATO members to ratify the Protocol.

Prime Minister Duško Marković noted that Montenegro is pleased to express the desire for the friendly country to end the membership negotiations as quickly as possible and become the 30th member of NATO.

"Montenegro reaffirms the support it has provided to Macedonia, which will become an additional stability factor in the region and its Euro-Atlantic perspective," the Prime Minister concluded.

On the occasion of its session, the Government of Montenegro also adopted the Decision on the calculated value for public sector employees for 2019. After discussion with representatives of trade unions of Montenegro, the calculated value of the coefficient, as well as in previous years, was determined in the amount of 90 euros.

15 Feb 2019, 23:49 PM

14 February 2019 - Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković takes part in this year's first meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Defence Ministers in Brussels. 

The meeting is addressing key challenges in the field of international security, bearing in mind the need to provide a comprehensive response to such challenges. The meeting also discussed the implementation of the guidelines from the last North Atlantic Council Summit in Brussels, as well as the next steps in fulfilling the critical tasks that are being undertaken to provide continuous improvement of the collective defence system. The defence ministers of the NATO member states stressed the firm commitment and unity of the Alliance in the control of arms, disarmament, and prohibition of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as essential segments that contribute to the preservation of Euro-Atlantic security. 

Minister Bošković stressed that Montenegro continues to firmly implement the Alliance's policies since the unity of all allies is an important prerequisite for preserving the security of their citizens and territory from any possible threats. Speaking about NATO's readiness and capability to adapt to the needs of the changed security environment, the Minister commended the progress made so far in the process of NATO's command structure adaptation, which will enable the quick response to all kinds of potential challenges. Bošković stressed that Montenegro supports the efforts of the Alliance in maintaining peace and stability, and reminded that our country sent a reconnaissance division to the Latvia multinational battalion battle group last year as a sign of its contribution to the Enhanced Forward Presence in the East (eFP). 

Minister Bošković also met with Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Turkey, General Hulusi Akar. 

He thanked General Akar for Turkey's comprehensive support to the reform of the defence system of Montenegro, especially in the field of modernisation of the Armed Forces of Montenegro. Bošković stressed the importance of implementing the Intergovernmental Agreement on the supply of uniform for the needs of the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro for five years, according to which the camouflage uniforms of the members of the Armed Forces of Montenegro were renewed last year. The Minister announced the continuation of the project in this year too. Bošković and Akar discussed the possibilities of restoring the capacity of the Montenegrin Navy, as well as the education of Montenegrin staff in Turkey. Both sides agreed that the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the Western Balkans is crucial for establishing long-term peace in this part of Europe.

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