Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Milo Đukanović, President of Montenegro

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Dear President. It is a great joy for us to welcome you in Greece. In the first visit of a head of state of Montenegro, following your country’s independence.

During our long private meeting, we had the opportunity to reiterate two facts.

Firstly, we had the chance to reaffirm the exceptional quality of our bilateral relations, as well as the significant prospects that are opening up, especially in the economic sector.

And, secondly we had the chance to reiterate the fact that the future of the Western Balkans lies in Europe.

Greece will continue to fight, it will continue to support the European perspective of the Western Balkans countries, obviously provided that the necessary conditions are fulfilled, acknowledging at the same time that this perspective of the European course of the Western Balkans is absolutely necessary in order to guarantee stability and prosperity in our wider region.

So, with these few thoughts, let me welcome you again in Athens. I am looking forward to the extended talks that we will have shortly, so that we can discuss in detail further prospects to deepen our bilateral relations.

Milo Đukanović: Dear Prime Minister, let me first thank you for your kind words and warm reception.

I would like to reassure you that my delegation and myself personally, we feel very comfortable in your friend country.

Apart from the fact that this is the first visit following our country’s independence, we must never forget the long-standing tradition of friendship between our countries.

Last year, we celebrated together the anniversary of 140 years of bilateral relations and 15 years since the renewed declaration of independence of Montenegro.

Together with the Greek Ambassador in Montenegro, we marked the occasion, celebrating 140 years of bilateral relations, while we also celebrated another important anniversary, the 200 years of Greek Independence.

I would also like to congratulate you on the effective management of the problems that we all faced, problems related to the pandemic. Of course, Greece also had to deal with the wildfires.

This is also an opportunity for me to thank you for providing assistance to us at the first stage of the fight against the Covid pandemic. You sent a big package of equipment to help us in this fight.

We have just had a substantial and open dialogue. And because we have agreed on everything – I could say – I don’t think that we need to go over the same topics.

But there are two more things I would like to add.

Firstly, I would like to reassure you that Montenegro is committed to what its future should be. We need to steadily follow the path of European integration, in order to safeguard peace and stability in the region.

The second point I would like to stress is that the entire region of Western Balkans needs Greece’s support and assistance, especially in the negotiations with our partners both in the European Union and NATO, so that we can overcome a gap that has obviously been created in the negotiations with the European Union. We all need this protection, from the side of Greece.

Therefore we count on Greece, as Greece is a friend and neighboring country. Greece is familiar with our problems. It understands what we need and what we face. Greece can influence the European Union and can talk to our partners and convince them that the Western Balkans region has no other perspective, but to join the European Union.

We also discussed domestic issues in our country. So, if you agree, we can move on with issues that concern our cooperation.