NATO Alliance is much stronger owing to Montenegro’s contribution, said US Ambassador Judy Rising Reinke at the opening of the To Be Secure Forum in Budva.
A two-day forum, gathering leaders and top officials from the region, Europe and the USA, is organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, and its focus will be on stability, security and future prosperity of the Western Balkans, in the context of the process in Europe and globally.
She reiterated that Montenegro last week celebrated 13 years of its independence, and that in those 13 years “this small nation has achieved great progress”.
Reinke said that NATO Alliance is much stronger owing to Montenegro’s contribution, and added that it is now more important than ever to have friends who can watch our back.
The US Ambassador said that Montenegro is one of the Euro Atlantic community leaders.
The ruling in the Failed Coup case, she sees as a victory of the rule of law in Montenegro, and speaking about Russia, she remarked that the USA are ready to meet on the common grounds with that country.
Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said that NATO has been paying special attention in the past to the Western Balkans region.
According to him, the historical positive epilogue of the negotiations between Skopje and Athens opened the path towards NATO and EU membership for North Macedonia, which will contribute to achieving the vision of “Europe, whole and free and at peace”.
He said that Montenegro, as the youngest NATO member, actively advocates and promotes open door policy, through bilateral support to BiH and North Macedonia, and within regional initiatives and mechanisms of cooperation.
Markovic argues that the recently published European Commission’s support on Montenegro gave a realistic overview of the status of progress and the need for further results.
“We will look at all the recommendations with due attention, as we have always done. That is why we are where we are, as a NATO member and the leader on the EU path”, said Markovic.
He claims that it is important to send a clear message that there are no alternatives and that NATO and the EU stand together with the WB countries on that path. “Every lack of clearly expressed commitment leaves space for third countries that are showing interest for the region to use vulnerability of the states and the system and threaten to their integration path”, Markovic concluded.
Atlantic Council president Savo Kentera said that NATO “paved the way for many countries towards the EU”.
“We in the Balkans know the best what it means to be safe. We are very aware of the unpredictability of the today’s world”, said Kentera.
He said that spreading fake news and disinformation are just some of the examples of the successful campaign Russia runs against the democratic world.
“No one can scare Montenegro and derail it off the EU integration path. I believe we will be creative enough to fight everyone who does not mean well to the country and the region”, said he.