Montenegro is clearly oriented towards the EU and NATO and that’s exactly the fundamental prerequisite for the improvement of life quality, said the Prime Minister, Duško Marković in the interview for German Euroactiv. He pointed out that Montenegrin economy was one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and that we had received over €1,5 billion of FDI. As for the relations with Russia, he said they were at very low administrative level.
He said that in 2006, Montenegro had taken Euro-Atlantic path.
“The fundamental prerequisite for our EU membership will be the progress we are going to make in the area of rule of law”, said PM.
He said that he used to be Minister of Justice and, therefore, he knew very well the things we were facing in that field.
“We have 32 chapters open. Three chapters have been closed temporarily and we are ready to close seven more. Hopefully, we will be able to do that by the end of this year. We have strengthened our institutions, judicial system, state administration, we have established new institutions, today Montenegro looks differently than eight years ago”, pointed out PM.
He said that the corruption was still a problem, but not as serious as it was before.
“Organized crime is the biggest problem today, not only in Montenegro but internationally. In order to respond to that, we have set up Special Prosecutor’s Office which has already convicted many, even highly-positioned state officials, members of my party”, said Mr Marković .
Speaking about protests, Prime Minister pointed out that they were democratic right of every citizen.
“And of course, protests can make the government think why people are protesting. Initial spark was the bank that went bankrupt whose owners were engaged in criminal activities. Then, everything was followed by a negative campaign against the President, Milo Đukanović, who refused to protect the owners. Later, political opposition used that as a motive to support protests, get the support of masses and make requests that have gradually become political”, said PM.
Due to our NATO membership, we are not having any political talks with Russia.
“Russia opposed to our NATO membership. It endorsed the forces in Montenegro that are against the NATO membership. That’s why they meddled into the elections. If the pro-European forces hadn’t won the elections in 2016, NATO accession wouldn’t have been successful”, said Mr Marković.
He added that Montenegro had for long been exposed to hybrid threats, including false reports.
“Their aim is to threaten our European integration, as well as our institutions, the Government and the economic development”, said the Prime Minister.