Opening of the 10th 2BS Forum

President of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro Dr. Savo Kentera stated today that Montenegro and the Balkans needed to remain in the sphere of interest of the West and that China or Russia must not be allowed to take over the Balkans.

Opening the 10th 2BS Forum in Podgorica, a jubilee, Kentera stated that there was no and could not be a compromise about it.

Montenegro has always been and will be on the side of its partners and allies and it will never allow other countries to undermine our democracy, interfere with our internal affairs or rewrite our history, he said, adding that Montenegro counted on its true and real allies in this process.

After all, isn’t that what NATO stands for? Kentera demanded.

President of the Atlantic Council emphasized that the years ahead of us were a key to the future of the region.

When I say this, I think not only of Montenegro but Serbia in particular, which is one of the most important countries in the region, and which we need as a strong ally on the side of NATO. It may seem either difficult to reach or not possible in the foreseeable future, but they have to know that once they decide to join NATO, they will have our full support on the way, he said.

Summing up a year behind us marked by coronavirus pandemic, Kentera stated that the health crisis had deepened or initiated the social, political, and economic crisis in many countries around us while giving rise to disinformation and conspiracy theories to the level that we all must think about possible consequences and the ways how to fight them successfully.

The forecasts indicate that the consequences will be long-term and will have a much greater impact on the economies and societies than the health crisis itself, he warned.

Explaining the way that disinformation flood affects the society, Kentera gave an example of Montenegro and the parliamentary election held in August which were followed by an unprecedented quantity of fake news and disinformation that had unfortunately originated in Serbia, with that country being a proxy for exerting Russian influence in Montenegro and the Balkans.

Reflecting on the Montenegrin election and its result, Kentera said that the citizens elected the new government as they wanted changes, more specifically, the changes for the better. At the same time, he reminded that nobody from the former opposition expected to see such a smooth transition of power, like the one that occurred in our country.

However, Montenegro showed its full democratic capacity. We showed to the rest of the world and to all those who thought that this country is ruled by a dictatorship that it is not the case, Kentera said. We showed to everyone that the changes are not a fairy tale but a possibility and a reality. We showed that Montenegro is a stable, democratic, sovereign country, which can serve as an example of how the peaceful transition of the government is possible after a thirty-year-long rule of one party.

Reminding that today was the 10th 2BS Forum, a jubilee, Kentera had a pleasure to remind to the fact that during a decade, the Forum had become a platform of influence where the burning challenges and issues were discussed, the solutions to the problems were found  in an authentic and inspiring way, and consequences that these solutions could have were considered.

From the first To Be Secure Forum ever organized of such kind in the wider Western Balkan region, we have been actively working on the promotion of West-oriented Montenegro – dedicated to the reforms, committed to its partners and Euro-Atlantic path.

Therefore, I can freely say that the To Be Secure Forum has contributed to Montenegro becoming a full-fledged NATO member in 2017, as well as influenced the strengthening of the security sector in Montenegro.

Tracing the path to the European Union has always been one of our main goals and we will continue more vigorously in that manner, Kentera concluded.