Djukanovic: Problems with Russia are transient; with NATO accession everything will change for the better

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By joining NATO, everything will change for the better in Montenegro and cooling relations with Russia will soon be overcome, said prime minister Milo Djukanovic in an interview with the Italian ANSA news agency.

As he pointed out, joining the alliance will have positive impact primarily on security and stability of the country. In addition, the inviolability of borders will be guaranteed.

“This will be an important impetus to the economic and democratic development and will further attract foreign investment and tourists. Montenegro’s accession to NATO is of great importance for the stability expansion in the Mediterranean region and consequently for strengthening European security”, Djukanovic added.

He is pleased with the political and economic cooperation with Italy, emphasising the importance of the Italian presidency the Berlin process on the Western Balkans.

“This year, Montenegro and Italy have marked the tenth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. But our friendship is much older… We are very satisfied with economic cooperation development, primarily in the energy sector”, the prime minister said, citing examples of Italian companies A2A and Terna.

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.

According to him, Montenegro was the least developed ex-Yu republic which became the most developed economy of the Western Balkans. He also mentioned the upcoming general elections.

“The vote on 16 October is of great significance and it is certainly the most significant political event after the referendum in 2006. In these elections, we are deciding not only on 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 multiethnic harmony preservation, along with ‘a series of major projects in road infrastructure, tourism and energy, which are billions of euros worth”, Djukanovic said in the interview.

He said that his opponents are the same people who were fans of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime.

“All opponents of Montenegrin independence are again together and have the same goals and their interests are in line with Russia’s opposition to NATO expansion. Thus they start cooperating with certain structures in Moscow. Actually, after accession to NATO, everything will change for the better in Montenegro starting from the security. The country’s stability and the inviolability of its borders will be guaranteed. Additionally, stability in the Mediterranean region, and consequently European security will be strengthened”, says Djukanovic.

PM believes it is realistic for Montenegro to become a full member of NATO during the first half of next year. He also said that disagreements and the cooling relations with Russia “would be overcome soon”. In his opinion, there were no negative impacts in tourism and economy.

“After all, Russia has excellent relations with many NATO member states. Why should Montenegro be the exception? Only a united Europe can provide valid response to the challenges it is facing with, including the migrant crisis and fight against terrorism and radicalism”, Djukanovic concluded.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro