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Orbán reaffirms support for Montenegro’s EU, NATO accession

World

After meeting Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković in Budapest last Friday, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stressed that Montenegro should become a European Union member and NATO ally, according to a report on official government website kormany.hu.

(Photo: Károly Árvai/kormany.hu)

“Montenegro’s place is in the EU, and the country is ready to be a member of the community,” Orbán said in a statement to the press. “If our hands were not tied and we were not slowed down by internal problems in the EU, Montenegro would to all intents and purposes be in the antechamber, or just a single step from full membership. The Hungarian government thinks it would be fair for Montenegro to join the EU as soon as possible,” he added.

Orbán also pointed out that Montenegro’s NATO membership need only be ratified by four remaining member states. The Hungarian leader recalled that Hungary has supported Montenegro’s EU and NATO membership from the very beginning.

“The peace and security of the continent cannot be established without the peace and stability of the Balkans – which in turn can only be achieved through membership of the EU and NATO,” he added.

Orbán said that Friday’s talks had been friendly and successful, and he stressed that “the relationship between the two countries is not burdened by any difficulties. Hungary regards Montenegro as a successful country, which could be the destination for many investments and tourists from our country,” he was quoted as saying by kormany.hu.

In closing Orbán indicated that he had accepted his Montenegrin counterpart’s invitation to visit the capital Podgorica.

Prime Minister Marković indicated that Montenegro expects the final four countries to ratify its accession to NATO soon, meaning that the country could take part in the next NATO summit in May as its 29th member state.

Marković also welcomed a EUR 45 million credit line from Hungary’s Eximbank to facilitate cooperation between Hungarian and Montenegrin enterprises.

Among agreements signed in the presence of the two prime ministers was one concerning the launch of a direct passenger air route between Budapest and Podgorica.

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