Defence Minister Bošković: Armed Forces will never be used for any domestic political clashes

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    Podgorica, Montenegro (30 October 2017) — Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković said while making a guest appearance on Television of Montenegro that the Armed Forces of Montenegro will never be used within Montenegro’s borders for any political counts. He pointed out that when answering to the question about the responsibilities of the defence minister envisaged by the new Law on the Armed Forces, passed in July this year… Defence Minister Bošković: Armed Forces will never be used for any domestic political clashes

    Podgorica, Montenegro (30 October 2017) — Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković said while making a guest appearance on the Television of Montenegro that the Armed Forces will never be used within Montenegro’s borders for any sort of political clashes. He pointed out that when answering to the question about the responsibilities of the defence minister envisaged by the new Law on the Armed Forces, passed in July this year.

    “The law gives the minister only one new competence – that, with his approval, the Armed Forces could be used to act in natural disasters. One thing is certain – the army will never be used within the borders of Montenegro for any political clashes.“

    The Minister said that the Armed Forces, which has worked hard since the day when Montenegro became independent, was one of the key institutions that contributed to the Montenegrin membership in NATO.

    “The most important thing is that the system of collective security to which Montenegro now belongs significantly contribute to the different design of the system of the Army itself, which is why in September we introduced a new formation in its organisational structure. That is what we are currently doing and what we are dedicated to,” Minister Boskovic explained.

    Speaking about the agreements Montenegro is to sign with the Alliance, among which is the one that grants members of the armed forces of its member states a special status during their stay in Montenegro, the Minister said that Montenegro is obliged to do so.

    “This is the legal framework of NATO, as there are legal acquisitions of the European Union. It is a duty of all the countries that accede to the Alliance, and the same status will also be granted to Montenegro’s soldiers in other countries.”

    Minister Bošković reiterated that Montenegro’s membership in NATO amounts to 475 thousand euros annually, which is the only financial obligation Montenegro has towards the Alliance.

    “It is certainly much cheaper than to develop a complete defence system independently, which is absolutely impossible,” he stressed.

    He said that Montenegro is fully prepared to respond to all the obligations arising from membership in the Alliance, which its soldiers showed by participating in international missions.

    “Montenegrin army, certainly, as part of a global security system, must develop certain specialties in which it has a tradition and knowledge, such as mountain or special units, helicopter units, diversion … We put a lot of emphasis on modernisation. However, Montenegro is a small country, so we were not only guided by the needs of the army, but also civilian, so that the three helicopters we purchased are more intended for civilian, but military use, namely for fighting fire, evacuation, medical transportation and natural catastrophe,” Minister Bošković noted.

    He pointed out that air policing would make Montenegro’s sky absolutely safe. He said that Montenegro is currently in the phase of signing technical agreements with NATO, Greece and Italy.

    “Greece and Italy will be working on air policing for Montenegro, as they have done for Albania since 2009 when it entered the Alliance,” the Minister recalled. “Air policing is absolutely the best option for protecting our skies,” he added.

    Speaking about the novelties provided for by the new Law on the Armed Forces, Minister Bošković emphasised the voluntary military service, which will be implemented from 2019.

    “It is a completely different concept from the one that was present in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), when military service was mandatory. We plan to train about 400 soldiers a year, and some of them will later do professional military service and become NCOs and officers. The law prescribes the use of the army in peacetime conditions, assistance in crisis situations and, of course, alignment with the needs arising from NATO membership,” the Defence Minister noted

    Commenting on the fact that a part of the public believes that the voluntarism of serving the army does not imply the carrying of weapons, Minister Bošković said that Montenegro did not “invented hot water”, and that in that segment it was guided by the experience of the allied countries. “Volunteerism is with weapons, as well as without weapons,” Bošković said.

    Responding to the question about the “Jadran” Training Ship, he said that the ship is the property of the state of Montenegro, or the Navy of the Armed Force of Montenegro.
    “It is true that the new Croatian Government has shown interest in this ship. Of course, we have our arguments. One thing is certain – we will not allow the Jadran ship, nor anything else, to be an obstacle to the achievement of good neighbourly relations.”

    Minister Boškovic also spoke about the efforts of the Ministry of Defence towards improving the material position of the employees in the Armed Forces and the Ministry, which is why a housing programme was recently established as one of the way in solving this kind of problems.

    He underlined that the entire budget for 2017 of 49 million euros is intended for the development of the Montenegrin defence system, regardless of whether or not Montenegro is a member of the Alliance.

    “Allocations would certainly be greater if we had to develop our own defence system on our own,“ Minister Bošković added.

    Speaking about priorities in the coming period, he pointed out further modernisation and technological advancement of the Armed Forces, but also the abandoning of old ways of thinking.

    Source: Government of Montenegro