Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Đukanović for political talks at the Federal Foreign Office today (6 May). Their discussions focused on bilateral relations as well as the Western Balkans’ Euro-Atlantic future and Montenegro’s NATO membership bid.
At a joint press conference at the beginning of the visit, Foreign Minister Steinmeier described the relations between Germany and Montenegro as “lively and dynamic”, adding that he was looking forward to further strengthening the dialogue between the two countries.
Clear European set of values
Regional cooperation was another important topic in Steinmeier and Đukanović’s political talks. Steinmeier said that the Western Balkans’ Euro-Atlantic future was of great importance to Germany.
Germany is a committed partner when it comes to supporting countries in the region on their journey towards Euro-Atlantic integration and promoting cooperation amongst them. We consider Montenegro to be an important and constructive partner in these endeavours.
The German Foreign Minister voiced his hope that Montenegro would be able to make progress in the accession talks with the EU and in implementing the requisite internal reforms. Furthermore, according to Steinmeier, Montenegro had shown that it had a clear set of European values in the context of the Ukraine crisis.
Germany supports Montenegro’s NATO membership bid
Steinmeier concluded by saying that Germany also supported Montenegro’s aim of joining NATO. The matters still pending for this to happen were currently being addressed in “intensive and focused talks” with the NATO partners. If these talks went well, said Steinmeier, he would personally work to ensure that the NATO foreign ministers invited Montenegro to join the Alliance by the end of the year.
Đukanović thanked Steinmeier for Germany’s support in promoting democratic stability in Montenegro and the region. Economic cooperation between the two countries was another area which had seen sustained improvement in recent years thanks to direct investment from German companies, he said.
“The future of the Western Balkans lies in regional integration,” the Montenegrin Prime Minister added, going on to say that the country would meet the requirements of the EU accession it was seeking and hoped that it would be able to join NATO in the near future. “Today, Montenegro is a stable and dynamic guarantor of western values in the region,” said Đukanović.