PM Milo Đukanović’s interview with Italian ANSA News Agency

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    By joining NATO, “everything will change for the better in Montenegro”, said Prime Minister Milo Djukanović in an interview with the Italian ANSA news agency. He also believes that the “cooling of relations with Russia will be overcome soon”. As he pointed out, joining the alliance will have positive impact primarily on security of the country. “There will be guaranteed the stability and the inviolability of borders. This will be an important impetus to the economic and democratic development and will further attract foreign investment and tourists.” Furthermore, Montenegro’s accession to NATO “is of great importance for the stability expansion in the Mediterranean region and consequently for strengthening European security”, Đukanović added… PM Milo Đukanović

    By joining NATO, everything will change for the better in Montenegro

    Problems with Russia are transient

    By joining NATO, “everything will change for the better in Montenegro”, said Prime Minister Milo Djukanović in an interview with the Italian ANSA news agency. He also believes that the “cooling of relations with Russia will be overcome soon”. As he pointed out, joining the alliance will have positive impact primarily on security of the country. “There will be guaranteed the stability and the inviolability of borders. This will be an important impetus to the economic and democratic development and will further attract foreign investment and tourists.” Furthermore, Montenegro’s accession to NATO “is of great importance for the stability expansion in the Mediterranean region and consequently for strengthening European security”, Đukanović added.

    Relations with Italy are excellent

    The presidency of the Western Balkans is very important

    Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović expressed great satisfaction with the political and economic cooperation with Italy, emphasizing the importance of the Italian presidency on the Berlin process on Western Balkans.

    “This year, Montenegro and Italy have marked the tenth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. But our friendship is much older than our present-day Country;” Đukanović said. Along with the statement: “The political contacts are excellent. We are very satisfied with economic cooperation development, primarily in the energy sector”, the Prime Minister added, inter alias, the presence of Italian companies A2A and Terna in Montenegro. He called into mind that Italian-Russian consortium Novatek was selected winning bidders in a tender for oil and gas exploration in the Montenegrin seabed.

    “We consider it very important that Italy will be the host of the forthcoming Western Balkans Summit in the framework of the Berlin process”, stated Đukanović, who believes that this is “an initiative which has breathed a new life to the EU enlargement politics and has opened new hope to us, in the Balkans.” It is therefore desirable to provide an impetus to the economic and infrastructural development and, hence “we hope that Italy, which is our neighboring country, will give a special contribution to this end.”

    “Among other things, we expect that Confindustria will take this opportunity of the Italian presidency to enhance cooperation between our companies. I think that we all in the region have high expectations from the Italian presidency,” Đukanović said.

    Votes on 16 October to decide on future of Montenegro

    Successful ten years of independence

    Accession to NATO, prospect of EU accession, turbulent Balkan situation, relations with Italy: ten days before the political elections in Montenegro, Prime Minister Milo Đukanović talks in an interview for the Italian ANSA news agency about aforementioned topics and makes a very positive balance of the first ten years of Montenegro’s independence.

    “Montenegro was the least developed ex-Yu republic which became the most developed economy of the Western Balkans,” Đukanović said, stressing that today Montenegro is “a distinctive tourist and investment destination” and “a country that represents a stability factor in the region and a leader in the integration processes”. He also mentioned the upcoming general elections.

    For the Prime Minister, who was an undisputed protagonist of the political scene in Montenegro for the last 25 years, voting on 16 October is of great importance, and it is certainly “the most significant political event after the referendum in 2006”, which peacefully separated Montenegro from the union with Serbia. As he claimed, in these elections “we are deciding not only about the European and Euro-Atlantic future of Montenegro, but also about the direction to which processes in the region can go. We offer a guarantee of stability and multi-ethnic harmony preservation”, along with “a series of major projects in road infrastructure, tourism and energy, which are worth billions of Euros”.

    Đukanović, who is the leader of DPS, points a finger at his political opponents who “are the same people who were fans of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime”. “All opponents of Montenegrin independence are together again”, they have the same goals and their interests are in line with Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement. Hence, “they found a common language with certain structures in Moscow”. Actually, Đukanović claimed, “everything will change for the better in Montenegro” by joining NATO, starting from the security. “The country’s stability and the inviolability of its borders will be guaranteed, as well as the stability in the Mediterranean region”, and consequently, European security will be strengthened.

    Prime Minister believes it is realistic for Montenegro to become “a full member of NATO” during the first half of next year, while the disagreements and the cooling relations with Russia “would be overcome soon”. In his opinion, there were no negative consequences in the fields of economy and tourism. “After all, Russia has excellent relations with many NATO member states. Why should Montenegro be the exception?” he noted.

    Milo Đukanović, therefore, hopes for the additional support to the European integration process of Montenegro and the entire region. “Only a united Europe can provide a valid response to the challenges it is facing with”, starting from the migrant crisis up to fight against terrorism and radicalism.

    Criticizing “the rhetoric of the nineties” and nationalistic excesses that have recently occurred in the Balkans and are often associated with “the needs of domestic policy”, Đukanović marked the “excellent” relations with Italy both on political and economic levels, and he also stressed the great importance of the Italian presidency on the Berlin process for the Western Balkans.

    /Translated by the Public Relations Service of the Government of Montenegro/

    Source: Government of Montenegro