In his statement after the meeting, Marković said that Russian presence in the Western Balkans was a separate topic during the meeting. The PM said that Tillerson agreed “Montenegro had strongly responded to the destruction coming from Russia”.
“We also talked about the Russian presence in the Western Balkans, which encourages and feed nationalistic and destructive forces in the region aiming at stopping the European and Euro-Atlantic perspective of Montenegro and other Western Balkan countries. We agreed that Montenegro made a very strong and serious response to the destruction coming from Russia. We will seek answers how to bring relations with Russia to an acceptable and rational level while staying committed to such a policy and dialogue,” Marković said.
He said that they talked about American investors who would come to Montenegro, but a prerequisite for that is strengthening the rule of law.
“This was a unique opportunity to touch upon all issues related to the bilateral relations between Montenegro and the USA, as well as the topics related to the Western Balkans. We concluded that the relations between Montenegro and the United States were at a high level, which was particularly shown in the US Senate’s swift ratification of Montenegro’s NATO accession protocol and the fact president Donald Trump signed it immediately after,” said Marković.
PM said that they also discussed the “complex issues relating to peace in the Balkans”.
“We agreed that it was primarily up to the Western Balkan leaders themselves to find the best solutions for developing the European and Euro-Atlantic vision of the Balkans,” said Marković.
The officials agreed that Montenegro was a positive example indeed.
“Montenegro itself is solving its problems. In a little more than 15 years, it has taken advantage of its opportunities in the best way. Montenegro will probably become a formal member of NATO on 5 June and we have opened 26 negotiating chapters with the EU,” said Marković.
The government emphasised that Marković’s visit to the USA and his meeting with Tillerson were of particular significance in the context of continuing political dialogue and further improving the two countries’ strategic partnership.