Politics

11 Oct 2019, 09:36 AM
October 11, 2019 - Croatian MEP Tonino Picula has been named reporter for the European Parliament for Montenegro, which has been in the EU candidate status since 2010 and began accession negotiations in June 2012, the MEP office announced on Thursday.
 
"Of all the candidate countries, Montenegro has moved farthest in its negotiations with the European Union, and as a reporter for the European Parliament for Montenegro, I will advocate strengthening its ties with the Union to become a full member as soon as possible. It is of strategic interest for Croatia to have other Union members at all its borders. Our experience and know-how, which we gained as the last country to become an EU member, should be transferred to the countries in the region, and I believe that in Podgorica, we will have the right partners on their path to the Union," Picula said during the appointment.
 
Picula stressed that the endorsement of Joseph Borrell by the EP as a candidate for European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, who placed the Western Balkan countries at the top of his term of office, further strengthens their European perspective.
 
In its negotiations with Montenegro, the Union emphasizes the rule of law, an independent judiciary, freedom of the media, and a more effective fight against crime and corruption. Chapters 23 (Justice and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom, and Security) are priorities for this country. Currently, most of the 83 provisional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, which relate to improving the legislative and institutional framework, have been met.
 
Montenegro has opened a total of 32 of the 35 negotiating chapters, and three are provisionally closed. The EC report for 2018 reveals a lack of confidence in the electoral system. Still, on the other hand, Montenegro is making moderate progress in the judiciary and is making the same progress in public administration concerning rationalization and depoliticization, where further efforts are needed, statement.
10 Oct 2019, 12:00 PM
October 10, 2019 - The Joint Advisory Committee of the European Committee of the Regions - CoR and Montenegro will hold its 13th session on Monday, 15 October, in Tivat.
 
The CoR is an assembly of local and regional representatives in the European Union. It is an EU political organization comprising 350 members and 350 alternate members from all EU Member States. The members are elected at the local or regional level (e.g., mayors, mayors, mayors, city board members, assemblies). The members were assembled into political groups (European political parties; there are now five). CoR is headed by President, now Karl-Heinz Lambertz (Socialist from Belgium).
 
The European Committee of the Regions is the voice of EU cities, municipalities, and regions. Advises EU legislatures (EU Council, European Parliament) on legislation, which is implemented at the local and regional levels in 70%. It meets full six times a year in Brussels / Brussels, and also acts on six thematic committees.
 
As a permanent form of cooperation with EU candidate countries - including Montenegro - CoR maintains joint advisory committees. These are parity bodies, meaning that they have an equal number of members from the CoR and the partner country, in this case, eight. JCC ME has two co-chairs; from the EU (CoR), it is Jelena Drenjanin (Sweden, European People's Party - EPP), and from Montenegro is Aleksandar Kašćelan, Mayor of Cetinje. On the European side, the CoR General Secretariat prepares the session of the Committee, and on the Montenegrin Union of Municipalities.
 
 
There will be two crucial topics on the agenda of the 13th session of the JCC ME: the system of financing and maintenance of municipal infrastructure and "Should we still work with our hands?" - The role of industry in economic development at the local level. Speakers from Montenegro (host, Tivat Mayor Dr Sinisa Kusovac; Montenegrin Chief EU Negotiator Aleksandar Drljevic; Sanja Zivkovic, Secretary of the Spatial Planning Committee of the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro; Ranko Misnic, Mayor of Mojkovac and others), guests from the EU will also speak : Aivo Orav, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Montenegro; Jaroslav Hlinka, CoR rapporteur for the 2019 Enlargement Package (Slovakia, Socialist); Sonja Polonijo, Crikvenica City Hall, waste management expert, and Dr. Velibor Mackic, professor at the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb.
 
09 Oct 2019, 16:29 PM

09 October 2019 - At the invitation of the President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović, a delegation of the Parliament of Georgia, headed by president Archil Talakvadze, is making its official visit to Montenegro, CdM reports.

Brajović pointed out in the meeting with the delegation that the visit was an additional impulse for strengthening ties and enhancing political dialogue at high and the highest level.

"Montenegro-Georgia relations are friendly. We share European values and the vision of the future in the European Union. Montenegro supports territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. As NATO members, we will continue to support Euro-Atlantic ambitions this country cherishes," said President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović.

While expressing special satisfaction about the meeting with President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović, Georgian president of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze pointed out that the visit to Montenegro was his priority.

"I congratulate Montenegro on everything it has achieved so far. From the political and economic point of view, Montenegro can serve as an example to other countries in the region. Citizens of Georgia were very happy about Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic success," said Archil Talavadze.

Interlocutors agreed that parliaments had a very responsible role in the further democratization of countries.

Georgian president of the Parliament also thanked Montenegro for the support it pledges to his country in the process of democratic transition, Euro-Atlantic and European path.

They also discussed political and economic priorities in the development of Montenegro and Georgia, as well as economic cooperation that can be improved in many areas.

Presidents of Parliaments of Montenegro and Georgia laid a wreath at the monument of the Partisan soldier in Gorica. Tonight at 7 PM in Bar, the Honorary Consulate of Georgia in Montenegro will be officially opened.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

09 Oct 2019, 10:13 AM
October 9, 2019 - Cooperation between the URA Civic Movement and European Greens has been ongoing for over a year. MEPs have repeatedly called for the protection of Montenegro's natural beauties in the European Parliament, of which the issue of the Tara was particularly problematic. The delegation of European Greens, led by Thomas Weiss, paid a working visit to Montenegro from 26 to 31 August. During that visit, the first steps were taken, and closer cooperation between URA and European Greens was considered.
 
The Committee of the European Greens was very pleased with Thomas Weiss's report on his working visit to Montenegro. The Greens of Europe have expressed their willingness and interest to work more closely with the URA Civic Movement on a common green agenda, the fight for the environment, and the fight against corruption. The European Greens have made an official invitation to the URA for Green Europe Association membership. The URA also received an invitation to attend the European Greens Congress in Tampere in November this year.
 
In the coming days, it is expected that the Main Board of the URA Civic Movement and the Presidency of that party will decide for the URA to enter the application process for membership of the Green Europe Association.
 
URA states that they inherit the same values ​​as the Greens of Europe and that this is not only environmental protection and sustainable development but also protection of human rights, the rule of law, a free society, professional and independent institutions.
 
The European Greens are a party that is a significant expansion in the European Union (EU). Germany, which is the most influential and most important member of the EU, has seen particularly strong growth. They improved their result from the previous European Parliament (EP) elections by almost 30%. From the last 50 seats, they had previously increased to about 70, but that number will continue to grow after the UK leaves the EU.
 
According to polls, the Greens in Germany have about 26 percent of support, and they are individually the most influential party with a high chance that they are the next Chancellor. In the recent elections in Austria, the Greens won about 14 percent of the vote and are the biggest surprise and the party with the most significant increase in support.
 
Greens, unlike some other groups, are pursuing an EU enlargement policy and affirming efforts to make the Balkans part of the European Union.
 
The European Greens' delegation led by Thomas Weiss paid a working visit to Montenegro from 26 to 31 August at the invitation of the URA Civic Movement. During this period, the delegation visited Ulcinj Salina, Cetinje, Lovcen, Tara, Lake Biograd, Black Lake, Zabljak, Bukovica, and Sinjajevina. During the visit to the natural beauties of Montenegro and ecological foci, the importance of environmental protection was discussed; problems were addressed with the construction of mini-hydro power plants, but the devastation of rivers and mountains. It was concluded that only through joint efforts can we stand up for our natural treasures and that this should be a continuous process for the sake of sustainable development and a better life for all future generations of our country's citizens.
 
During their visit, the Greens said that the URA, the civilian sector, and civic activists are not alone in the fight to preserve Montenegro's natural beauties. The importance of closer cooperation between civil society, local people, and political parties in the battle for nature conservation was particularly emphasized.
 
During the Greens' visit, the URA organized two working lunches in Ulcinj and Zabljak, where NGOs and civic activists involved in environmental protection spoke with members of the delegation.
MEP Thomas Weiss said during the visit that he sees the Green URU as "a pro-European party initiated by the fight for human rights and civil society and the fight to tackle environmental problems". Weiss specifically said he was pleasantly surprised by the close cooperation between ERO and the civilian sector.
 
The URA used the visit of the Greens to introduce them to the natural beauty and tourist potential of Montenegro. Take a look through the lenses of the cameras that capture those most beautiful landscapes and moments.
 
Particular emphasis was placed on the devastation of the Tara River and the planned construction of a military training ground in Sinjajevina.
 
Representatives of the Greens stated after visiting the Tara River that the riverbed was devastated by narrowing the riverbed, creating artificial dikes, that in some places there was a change in the river's, so that in one part of it completely changes the flow.
 
When visiting the Tara River, Thomas Weiss said he "wondered how Montenegro could handle Chapter 27 with this kind of environmental devastation." When visiting Sinjajevina, Weiss noted that the mountain should not be turned into a military training ground, but that it should be used for agricultural development and tourism. He stated that Sinajevina had an incredible landscape and that it is the second-largest pasture in Europe, which is why it must be preserved from devastation.
08 Oct 2019, 14:36 PM
October 8, 2019 - According to Independent MP Nedjeljko Rudovic, Montenegro's accession to the European Union (EU) has virtually been halted, blamed solely by its political and judicial leadership.
 
"I do not know if it is a balance clause, the fact is that Montenegro's negotiations with the EU have stopped," Rudovic said.
 
He recalled that since 2012, when it opened negotiations, Montenegro has not been able to close a single chapter formally.
 
"This, of course, has to do with the new approach and the connection of Chapters 23 and 24 with everything else. But that goes to show that there are no results in a critical area, and that is the rule of law, which is quite clear from every statement made by EU officials, and from every EC progress report on Montenegro," said Rudovic.
 
Everything happening in the judiciary, and the attitude of the court to the current affairs has a direct repercussion on the future of Montenegro's accession to the Union.
 
"Essentially, at this moment, that accession has stopped. Formally, probably, no one will say it, but the fact is that we are not going forward," said Rudovic.
 
He pointed out that it was not the fault of the chief negotiator or, for example, the minister of science.
 
"The blame lies solely on political top and top judiciary, which, rather than in the service of the state and the rule of law, is clearly in the service of the ruling party," Rudovic said.
 
He explained that when it comes to the rule of law and the need for Montenegro to have an independent judiciary, it does not refer to the presidents of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and other judicial officials.
 
"We are talking about the fact that the whole of Montenegro suffers from the fact that they act as servants of the ruling party and do not do their job. Everyone is taken care of, remember the apartment affair, and in what way and who is honored with apartments, some of them several times," said Rudovic.
 
As he said, Montenegro is suffering damage due to such behavior, and system that radically transforms the state and all its institutions into servants of the ruling party.
 
Asked how, given everything he said he sees the future of Montenegro's negotiations with the EU, he said that it depends on global trends and on the situation in the Union itself, as well as on the situation on the home ground.
 
The fact is, Rudovic said that Montenegro could not expect any progress unless it clears up "the situation in its backyard."
 
"There is no dilemma here. We are not a big country that can be as influential at the EU level as much as we would like, but we can do what is right for us. Why we don't do this, I think is completely clear - because those on whom it depends don't want it," Rudovic concluded.
 
Speaker of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration and Democratic Front MP Slaven Radunovic said that the EU has stopped the process of integration of Montenegro, and that the balancing clause has been informally activated, but that it is not officially mentioned for political reasons.
 
08 Oct 2019, 02:45 AM

08 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović is the recipient of the title of Honorary Member of the Mihai Eminescu Academy and the Foundation of the same name, which was presented to him by the President of the Academy, Ion Deaconescu, in front of the Executive Board.

Academy President Deaconescu congratulated President Đukanović on this recognition of political and social activism and the active role of the reformer of Montenegro. Delivering him the honorary member of the Academy and its symbol, the work of the famous sculptor Vincenzo Bianchi, Deaconescu said it was a great honour for them that the President accepted their initiative and recognition as a great politician who contributed to the peace, preservation, and affirmation of multiculturalism and multiethnicity. He praised the achievements of Montenegro and recalled the friendship of Montenegro and Romania, “small countries that can give Europe a lot”.

President Đukanović thanked Deaconescu for this important recognition and said that he was extremely privileged and honoured to be in the company of eminent members of this Academy, among whom there are Nobel and Herder Prize winners. Considering the reputation of this Academy, the honour belongs to the citizens of Montenegro, Đukanović said. He pointed to the special importance of preserving universal and traditional values, especially in times when they were put to the test in turbulent and challenging times, not only in Montenegro, but also on the European and global scene.

He agreed that relations between Montenegro and Romania are traditionally friendly, which is supported by the sincere and continuous support of Romania to Montenegro in the integration processes.

The interlocutors also exchanged views on the possibility of continuing the Njegoš-Eminescu poetry festival, which was first held in Podgorica last year.

The explanation of the decision of the Executive Board of the Academy, among other things, states that the title of Honorary Member is awarded to President Đukanović "in honour of his extraordinary engagement as a politician and humanist, in a susceptible period, marked by pain, conflict, poverty ... His Excellency is the promoter of the relationship of friendship and cooperation between Montenegro and Romania, whose centuries-old friendly relations have been strengthened by this support. We are convinced that the award of this academic title to Mr. President of Montenegro will contribute to the fruitful participation of both countries in creating a new humanism that is necessary for all of us," concludes the statement.

08 Oct 2019, 02:12 AM

08 October 2019 - The legal and institutional framework, which guarantees the independence of the judicial branch of Government in Montenegro, implies a high degree of responsibility for each judicial office holder individually. Citizens' expectation that prosecutors and judges should firmly protect the legal order of Montenegro is justified, and this is the only way to build trust in the judicial and prosecutorial organisation. Unless the responsibility of the judiciary is significantly strengthened, the citizens' concern for the overall success of the reforms will be justified. Therefore, the judiciary is obliged to respond to such challenges in a timely and efficient manner, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Montenegro Zoran Pažin said at a Western Balkans Justice Ministers conference which was recently held in Tirana, Albania.

During the conference, organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Albania and the Regional Cooperation Council, the Ministers of Justice, senior officials and experts in the field of the rule of law from the Western Balkans discussed the key challenges in meeting European standards, improving the rule of law and strengthening regional judicial cooperation.

DPM Pažin emphasised that the high degree of independence enjoyed by the judiciary in the Montenegrin government system carries a special responsibility for the impartial and independent performance of each prosecutor and judge individually. Only in this way can confidence in the justice system be built.

He recalled that the implementation of the previous judicial reform strategy, through the adoption of amendments to the Constitution and the improvement of legislation, significantly strengthened the independence of the Montenegrin judiciary. Pažin stressed that continued judicial reform remains Montenegro's priority in the European integration process, which the Government also confirmed by adopting the Strategy for the next three-year period.

"Increasing the efficiency of the judicial system will improve the quality of respect for human rights and the rule of law, while enhancing the accessibility and transparency of judicial institutions in the coming period should result in an adequate degree of citizens' confidence in the judiciary," Deputy Prime Minister Pažin noted.

The second, expert panel dedicated to the design, implementation and monitoring of judicial reform in the Region was addressed by Nikola B. Šaranović, Director General of the Directorate for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Justice. He recalled that in its conclusions on enlargement, stabilisation, and association, the EU Council noted that the institutional framework in Montenegro was complete and that the legal framework was largely established, and that it was crucial for the entire rule of law system to produce tangible and sustainable results.

Šaranović notably presented cooperation on European projects in the process of meeting the provisional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, judicial cooperation with the countries of the Region, as well as the participation of Montenegrin institutions in the work of European judicial networks. He also reminded that Montenegro is the first candidate country to which the new approach in negotiations has been applied and that our country is ready to transfer the first-hand experience to other candidate countries from the Western Balkans.

07 Oct 2019, 21:06 PM

October 7, 2019 - Montenegro and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) have concluded an Agreement under which European police officers, along with Montenegrin police, will patrol along the state border. As reported, the European Union will provide Montenegro with expert training and expert assistance in border surveillance. 

The Agreement, signed in Luxembourg by Montenegrin Interior Ministers Mevludin Nuhodzic and Finland, currently EU Presidency, Maria Ohisalo, as well as European Commissioner for Internal Affairs and Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, regulates relations between the two sides and specified rights and obligations in dealing with security challenges, including illegal migration.
 
Nuhodzic said that the Agreement represents "the strengthening of successful and high-quality cooperation between Montenegro and the European Union in the field of border security."
 
"With this Agreement, we have opened a new chapter on border management and cross-border crime cooperation. More intensive cooperation between Montenegro and Frontex will enable us to respond more quickly and effectively to potential migration challenges. Safe and secure borders, which should remain open to the free movement of people and goods and, at the same time, protected from the activities of criminals. Such as illegal migration, organized crime, and terrorism. Only a well-protected and robust state border can guarantee the safety and security of both citizens in Montenegro and citizens across Europe," said Nuhodzic.
 
EU Commissioner Avramopoulos has called the conclusion of the agreement "an important achievement for both Montenegro and the EU," the Government said.
 
"This agreement is another step towards the full operationalization of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and marks another step forward in EU-partner cooperation with the Western Balkans. Montenegro is the second country in the region to sign such an operation after the operation launched in Albania earlier this year, which has already yielded positive results," Avramopolos said.
 
Ohisalo said this Agreement is further evidence of deepening and expanding cooperation (EU) with Montenegro and will bring benefits to both parties, especially in controlling migration flows, combating illegal migration and cross-border crime, including migrant smuggling, trafficking, and terrorism.
 
"More broadly, we are convinced that this Status Agreement will enhance cooperation with the entire Western Balkans region, which the European Union considers to be one of its priorities. The negotiations are conducted in a good cooperation spirit and in a constructive way that characterizes our relations," Ohisalo said.
 
Source: gov.me
07 Oct 2019, 20:38 PM
October 7, 2019 - Kotor Municipal Assembly President Jovo Sudjic (DPS) called the Democratic councilor in Kotor parliament, physician Dr. Goran Jovanovic "a monster in human form." Sudjic asked the director of Kotor General Hospital Dr. Ivan Ilic to take action against Jovanovic, who is employed by that public health care institution.
 
In an open letter to Ilic, sent today via Kotor's Skala Radio, Sudjic stated that "once a respected Kotor hospital, today, thanks to some doctors whose behavior can at least be called unprecedented and uneducated, it has reached the level of which Kotor is ashamed. "He accused Jovanovic, who, in addition to medicine, is also involved in artistic creation as a musician, poet and satirist, Timur Tmurni, that he "passionately" deals with Sudjic and other public figures whose politics he dislikes and that in his public appearances "satanizes and insults, continues to slander, not choosing words with the intention of belittling and insulting."
 
"I expected Dr. Ilic that you would come to the Kotor Municipal Assembly or, at least, as my former colleague of councilors, invite me to a meeting to try to overcome this problem. You did not do this for the reasons known to you. For this reason, I do not think that you care much about insulting doctors and self-styled satirists, who must be a humanist, not a monster in human form. Others see it, unfortunately not you, nor Minister (of Health, Kenan) Hrapovic," reads Sujić's open letter.
 
The head of the Kotor parliament criticizes the hospital director for allegedly failing to respond adequately to his June letter when Sudjic also complained about Jovanovic's media appearances. Sudjic stressed that Jovanovic's expertise as a physician was "questionable" for him. He believes that Ilic's earlier claim is that none of Jovanovic's colleagues or patients complained about his treatment as a doctor. Sudjic also notes that Jovanovic allegedly "verbally attacked a colleague (Bruna) Loncarevic, your associate, what was announced publicly at the College of Physicians in your presence."
 
"You knew it, and you had to react because it is an attack that should not be tolerated, precisely because of the reputation of the hospital, if you did not want to protect your colleague and her integrity and reputation. Listen, Dr. Ilic, to your colleagues at the hospital. Ask them what they think about Jovanovic's behavior. Not only for the brutal attacks on me, but also for other prominent citizens like your colleague, who he does not like, but also for the need to protect the reputation of the hospital you are leading from such street behavior," said Sudjic to the director of the Kotor hospital.
 
Bruna Loncarevic is a member of the SDP, which by a decisive seventeenth vote in the Kotor Municipal Assembly, supports the current local ruling DPS-SD-HGI-LP coalition.
 
In a letter to Ilic, Sudjic also abuses Jovanovic that he allegedly publicly discloses the diagnoses and therapies of the patients he receives, "making jokes on their behalf by mocking them and belittling their origins and status." He said Jovanovic is "a doctor who keeps political tirades in the hospital." Sudjic noted that he had also briefed Health Minister Kenan Hrapovic (SD) about everything, but that he "did not even respond to the letter, thus best-showing interest in the issue."
 
Goran Jovanovic has been in the public spotlight recently after the municipal DPS government banned him from appearing as one of the featured speakers at the Kotor Circle festival, which was financially supported by the local government. That is why all participants of the festival - prominent intellectuals and public figures from Montenegro, Serbia, and Croatia, publicly protested and supported Jovanovic, and the organizers of the Kotor Circle from the NGO Hyperion decided that the festival will no longer be held in Kotor.
 
"After such brutal, open, and shameless censorship, there is no longer room in Kotor until Kotor becomes an oasis of freedom again, until semi-intellectuals and drunken mayors rush down the scales they have climbed. We are going from this city and carrying the festival to other, better places, if any in our homeland. If not, we will create them with the help of you all," said festival co-organizer Ksenija Rakocevic at the time.
 
Source: Boka News
07 Oct 2019, 16:56 PM

07 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Villa Gorica.

President Đukanović said the first visit of the US secretary of state is historical and an honor for Montenegro. He recalled the long tradition of relations between the two countries and highlighted the US's appreciation for continued support throughout its historical duration.

"Relations between Montenegro and the United States were particularly enriched at the end of the last century, during the Yugoslav crisis, when a strong trust was built to this day thanks to significant political and financial assistance from Washington, which has crucially contributed to maintaining peace and multiethnic harmony in Montenegro," pointed out Đukanović, adding that the trust between the two countries was also important for the implementation of reforms in Montenegro, restoration of independence, NATO membership and leadership in the negotiation process with the EU. The visit is a gesture of US support for the youngest NATO member, and a message to everyone in the region who should follow this example.

Recalling the achievements of the past 13 years, the President stressed that we had demonstrated policy-making skills, reform capacity, and a clear vision and ability to adopt European and Euro-Atlantic values, with respect for human and minority rights and democracy. Speaking about state policy priorities, he emphasized maintaining a good pace of economic growth, continuing the integration process with a strong commitment to the rule of law and media freedoms, and enhancing internal political stability, and enhancing religious freedom through drafting the Laws to the highest European standards.

He also reaffirmed Montenegro's commitment to continue to be a promoter of Europeanization in the Region, stating that the integration of the WB is a prerequisite for its stability and overcoming a deep lag. In this regard, he welcomed the increased US presence in the region, the appointment of a special envoy, and expressed his expectation that a more determined European enlargement policy would be encouraged, reported President's Office.

He particularly emphasized satisfaction with bilateral relations and valuable cooperation in defense and security, hybrid threats, and the rule of law. He conveyed to Secretary Pompeo an openness to strengthen economic cooperation and more significant presence of US investors, who will bring, above all, new standards and skills.

The US Secretary of State thanked the President and his team for their excellent cooperation and commended Montenegro for its achievements since the restoration of independence. He shared his belief that the US would remain actively engaged in Europe, the Balkans, and especially with Montenegro, especially in the context of a more dynamic enlargement process. The US will be very supportive of Montenegro's EU integration as quickly as possible.

US Secretary of State also stressed that Montenegro could count on support to achieve what is good for the people and the government and what is good for Europe, with the message that the US wants Montenegro to become the youngest member of the EU, as it has become the youngest NATO member and lead the region. Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its dedicated participation in peacekeeping missions, pointing out that although the small country of Montenegro sends secure messages that it is not only a member but an active member of NATO and can set an example for larger countries.

"A small country, but an enormous contribution," rated Pompeo.

In addition, the United States has shown full confidence when it comes to reaching Montenegro's planned budget allocations for defense.

"This is not just about money; it is about demonstrating a political commitment to the common defense. In the context of resolving open issues in the region," concluded Pompeo, saying that Montenegro should be proactive in ideas that will lead to a good outcome for the WB.

The US Secretary of State also expressed interest in the presence of US investors in Montenegro.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

04 Oct 2019, 22:57 PM

04 October 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the first official visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro testifies to the fact that the two countries foster friendship and alliance.

"Following the visit of Vice President Mike Pence, this is further evidence of the excellent relations between our two countries and a sign that the United States values ​​our alliance and constructive role in the region and beyond," Prime Minister Duško Marković underscored at the joint press conference, describing the first visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro as historic. Secretary of State Pompeo made the same assessment.

"On behalf of the American people, I am proud to say that the United States will continue to stand with the people of Montenegro as a friend, as a partner and as an ally," the US Secretary of State told the press.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Montenegro1

The two officials expressed satisfaction with the fact that Montenegro is a member of NATO. The Prime Minister said that the USA played an important role in Montenegro's preparations for the membership and that Montenegro already enjoys security and economic benefits from membership.

In that context, the US Secretary of State announced the most valuable agreement to equip the Montenegrin Armed Forces with US military equipment worth 36 million USD.

The US Secretary of State informed the public about Montenegro's commitment to confronting the 21st-century threats.

"Because of our direct cybersecurity cooperation with Montenegro, we have been able to develop patches against the latest Russian maneuver that now protect billions of devices worldwide," said Secretary of State Pompeo.

He also stressed that the United States will continue to support Montenegro's EU bid, and that it is of strategic importance for the USA and EU to be present in the Western Balkans so as not to leave room for those who do not share our common principles and values. Prime Minister Marković agreed on the need for the US presence in the region, emphasising that the integration process should be based on individual merit, reported the Office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its support on a number of issues, noting that Montenegro fosters regional stability as a NATO member and that it also shares the US priorities across a range of foreign policy issues.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

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