Montenegrin PM’s First Official Visit Will Probably Be to Brussels

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi has said that the first official visit of the future Montenegrin Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić will probably be to Brussels, which will be a positive signal for all EU members.
Answering the questions of the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, he said on Thursday as quoted by EWB that the new government in Podgorica has not changed its attitude regarding the international priorities of Montenegro, primarily the EU and NATO.
“I spoke with Krivokapić during my visit to Podgorica and he assured me of my commitment to the European path and NATO and there are no changes in his opinion regarding these obligations of the state,” Enlargement Commissioner said.
He stated that the first task of the new government, which should be elected on December 2, will be to deepen and accelerate reforms within the area of the rule of law, and the second to overcome the socio-economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Committee members are worried that minority parties will not participate in the government. However, Várhelyi replied that the EU will monitor the situation because minorities are very important for the stability of the state, but also that the EU can not determine that.
Speaking about freedom of religion, Várhelyi said that all interested parties should sit down and resolve the issue so that it loses its controversial nature.
MEPs also asked about the influence of Russia and China on Montenegro, as well as its relations with Serbia.
“This region is the closest to us and it will be difficult for anyone else to offer something like EU membership,” Várhelyi said, recalling the benefits and assistance that the EU sent to the region during the COVID-19 crisis, but also the overall financial support.
He also said that tensions between Montenegro and Serbia weakened after the elections and he expects them to continue to weaken.