European Western Balkans

Montenegrin PM Marković: It is our natural right to be on our own

Duško Marković; Photo: CdM

PODGORICA – Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković gave an interview to Montenegrin daily newspaper Pobjeda, where he spoke about ratification of the Washington Treaty in the Montenegrin Parliament and NATO membership, relations between Montenegro and Russia, as well as current developments in the country.
Prime Minister Duško Marković assessed that, after ratification of the Washington Treaty in the Montenegrin Parliament and NATO membership, Montenegro will build a favourable international position.

“Montenegrin membership in NATO is a long-term guarantee of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Likewise, the security of citizens and ultimately a prerequisite for sustainable economic development, which will be strengthened by EU membership, which is expected in the coming years. We believe that it is the national interest and the answer to the question about the strategic direction the country should take so that future generations live better. By joining NATO we gave a clear answer to the question of what kind of future we choose for ourselves and future generations. By this act Montenegro is becoming an increasingly important factor on the international scene and the country that will, for the first time in its history, be at the table where decisions are made, not just the country that will fulfill the obligations and duties,” PM Marković emphasised.

Prime Minister Marković said in an interview with Pobjeda that Montenegro has in no way contributed to cooling of relations with Russia.

“If our commitment to make our own decisions about our future and to see the best prospects in European and Euro-Atlantic integration, is considered as Montenegro’s sin towards Russia – then we really believe there is no sin! If Moscow challenges this right – then sincerity of its friendship towards Montenegro is ultimately questionable! It’s crazy to think that with this kind of our commitment we are making something that is directed against Russia. We are only defending our natural right to be on our own. In this context, therefore, it does not depend on us whether Russian pressure will stop or continue, but on the willingness of Moscow to respect the principles of partnership and equality in our relations,” the Prime Minister said answering the question whether Moscow’s pressure on Podgorica will decrease or continue and be different after Montenegro’s membership in NATO.

“On this basis, we are ready, in spite of everything we have recently experienced and survived from some Russian addresses, to renew our cooperation. In spite of open threats that are sent to us these days even from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia,” Prime Minister Marković stated, saying that Montenegro’s readiness for dialogue with Moscow is unquestionable.

Prime Minister Marković also spoke about the request of the opposition for early elections.

“It is foolish to expect that we simply declare invalid something that the citizens decided, and the whole world rated as regular democratic election process! We don’t have a right to do that, nor any relevant factor of the international community would support that! Regarding the request of the opposition, which is, in my opinion, formulated in a daze after the electoral defeat on 16 October – it cannot be discussed. If the opposition takes a bite of the reality sandwich, DPS and the coalition partners are ready and open to dialogue on all other topics,” PM Marković said, adding that boykott of the Parliament shows the lack of willingness and ability of opposition parties to get involved in politics in a serious and thoughtful way.

In an interview with Pobjeda Prime Minister Duško Marković presented data which show that the Government’s economic policy is already yielding results.

“Full support to the Government’s economic policy has arrived from important and credible international addresses – the European Commission, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund. At home, criticism and cheap politics dominate so that assessments of fiscal consolidation measures were mostly negative. What we are glad about is that we have shown the correctness of decisions and that these measures are already yielding results. Namely, we have reduced most of the budget spending units and increased revenues, thus the total budget revenues from 1 January to 21 April 2017 amounted to 403.2 million EUR and increased by 1.1 percent compared with the first four months in 2016. At the same time, revenues in the first 21 days of April rose by 11.2% compared to the same period in 2016,” PM Marković stressed.

Answering the question about canceling the tender for pivatisation of the Port of Bar and Montecargo, the Prime Minister said that the cancelation does not mean that we completely gave up on the privatisation or the Polish partners.

“On the contrary, we consider it a credible and desirable, and there is significant untapped potential in the Port of Bar that we have to valorise. We simply did not like the offer – we believe that it can be better and more quality, with larger effects on our economy and ultimately citizens. I do not see anything disputable in the fact that we insist on quality,” the Prime Minister concluded.

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