Montenegro: No open issues with Kosovo

Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Roćen stated that his country “does not have any open border issues with its neighbors”.

Roćen was answering MP questions in parliament in Podgorica on Tuesday when he said that he had learned from the media about the ethnic Albanian protests near the town of Peć, in the western part of Kosovo.

They were dissatisfied that notification signs on the border line were being put up, alleging that “some territory within Kosovo was taken”, and said that there had not been any discussions about it between Priština and Podgorica.

“There are no open issues with Kosovo and no issues concerning the border demarcation. I don’t want to get into the context of it and I don’t have enough relevant information to comment on it in public,” he said.

The foreign minister said that Montenegro “does not have any difficult issues which could not be solved by talking to its neighbors”.

He added that interstate borders established by Banditer’s Commission “should be the basis for negotiations about border demarcation with the neighbors”.

However, opposition MPs said that protests of the locals in Kosovo “did not come by chance”, and expressed their belief that the issue of border demarcation with Kosovo is going to escalate.

MP Emilo Labudović said that there are ethnic Albanians crossing into his village, which borders with Kosovo, occupying most of the land, taking pastures and cutting down forests, and that Montenegro’s border police is not reacting.

Roćen was also hear daying that Montenegro had finished consultations about marking the border with Albania and that an agreement was expected soon.

He added that he did not know when the agreement with Bosnia-Herzegovina would be signed “because of internal issues of the country”, while there was a temporary border demarcation deal with Croatia concerning the small peninsula of Prevlaka, and that a process was ongoing to find a permanent solution.

According to Roćen, border demarcation talks with Serbia have not started yet “because Serbia requested a delay as its commission members changed”.

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