European Western Balkans

Đukanović discusses NATO’s cooperation with Montenegro and the region with Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the Republic of Montenegro Milo Đukanović; Photo: NATO

BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović at NATO Headquarters today, commending Montenegro’s contribution to NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, which is “building stability in the Western Balkans”.

They exchanged views on the security situation in the Western Balkans and preparations for next month’s NATO Summit, the press release reads.

“Montenegro is a valued Ally, making important contributions to Euro-Atlantic security,” the NATO Secretary General said. “You provide financial support to the Afghan Security Forces; you contribute to NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, building stability in the Western Balkans; and I welcome that Montenegro is increasing its defence spending; all of these contributions make our Alliance stronger and safer,” he added.He also emphasized NATO’s continued support to Montenegro, for instance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – through the provision of “essential medical supplies, including ventilators from NATO’s new medical stockpile” – and in keeping the country’s airspace safe through a NATO air policing mission “with jets from Italy and from Greece.”

The Secretary General emphasised that the NATO 2030 initiative to prepare the Alliance for the future “is at the heart of the NATO Summit in June.” “We must reinforce our defence and deterrence, broaden our approach to security and work with partners to protect the rules-based international order, and I welcome Montenegro’s support in this process,” he stressed.

In a press conference following the meeting, Đukanović confirmed that the most important part of the meeting was focused on continuing NATO’s cooperation with the WB countries.

“I am glad that we fully share the assessments of endangering the European and Euro-Atlantic orientation of the WB through the penetration of certain political interests of countries whose value system and whose goals are opposed to the European and Euro-Atlantic alliance. Unfortunately, this threatens very seriously not only the future of the WB, but I would say, today’s stability as well”, Đukanović said.

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