Montenegro: Decisions on free entrance in Montenegro caused reactions in Belgrade

Montenegro: Decisions on free entrance in Montenegro caused reactions in Belgrade

“Montenegro becoming the first country in Europe to be free of coronavirus cases, is equally the success of the state, its institutions, and each individual. As of today, our country is also known on all meridians for the result it has achieved in fight against the invisible and unknown enemy. Now we focus on preserving and recovering our economy, jobs and our citizens’ standards of living, and we will win this battle successfully”, Montenegring Prime Minister Duško Marković said at a press conference on Monday.

Marković said that today “the Corona Free status is the emblem of Montenegro in the whole world”.

“As of today, Montenegro is special regarding the result it has achieved in the fight against the invisible and unknown enemy. Therefore, I once again congratulate the National Coordination Body on the excellent and strategic management, during the coronavirus epidemic… Let’s be responsible and in solidarity for the good of our Montenegro”, Marković said.

He announced the opening of borders, first for the citizens of those countries that are successfully dealing with coronavirus.

“As of today, the National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases, with its eight operational staffs and over a hundred people involved in depth, has the task of finding the best solutions that will enable the restart of our economy, that will open borders and enable the arrival of tourists, as well as to further mitigate the restrictive measures, which will have an impact on the internal situation and life of citizens. Our intention is to open kindergartens, preschools, playrooms, churches and theaters as early as next week; to enable a limited audience to follow sports events, while respecting the protective measures. Christenings, weddings and family celebrations will be allowed – also with health and security measures and restrictions on the number of attendees. And in accordance with the assessment made, the opening of the borders with countries that meet the appropriate epidemiological criteria of the Public Health Institute, is expected in the first days of June. Currently, the criteria are a maximum of 25 patients per 100,000 inhabitants and the first countries for which we will open our borders are: Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Albania, Greece and possibly some countries in the region until the order is passed and entered into force. Global trends also pointed to the expansion of the circle of countries to which we could open our borders. This will restart our aircraft and air industry, encourage our tourism and enable work in related activities”, the Prime Minister stated.

The fact that Serbia is not on the list of the countries with free entrance to Montenegro caused bitter reactions in Belgrade.

Serbia’s PM, Ana Brnabić, said that Serbia “will not ban the ordinary Montenegrins from visiting Serbia, but will even strictly deny entry to their criminals and mafia clans that have been killing and terrorising (people in) Serbia for decades”, adding that “Serbia will show no mercy in fighting criminals from Montenegro”.

Brnabić said yesterday evening that there would not be reciprocal measures, but that “our people should not go where they are not welcome”.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić described Podgorica’s decision not to open borders for Serbian citizens as of June 1, as “a ridiculous and senseless move with direct and harmful consequences for the citizens of Montenegro”./ibna