UK Minister of State for Defence Baroness Annabel Goldie has reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to Western Balkans security on a visit to Montenegro, UK Government announced Friday.
Coinciding with the visit of HMS Richmond, sailing from the UK Carrier Strike Group, Lady Goldie held high-level meetings to discuss regional security, the role of NATO in upholding that security and maintaining stability, as well as the UK-Montenegro defence relationship.
Minister of State for Defence, Baroness Goldie said that the Carrier Strike Group’s visit to the Port of Bar marks the fourth anniversary of Montenegro’s accession to NATO and symbolises “our close relationship as members of the most successful military alliance in history”.
“The UK was the first nation to endorse Montenegro’s NATO membership in 2017 and we remain committed to supporting Montenegro and the Western Balkans region on its Euro Atlantic journey,” emphasized Baroness.
On a two-day visit, the Baroness met with Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić and Defence Minister Olivera Injac. She discussed regional security issues, the UK’s commitment to supporting its partners and the positive role NATO plays in underpinning the region’s stability. “Montenegro is an important partner to the UK and a fellow NATO Ally. Our Armed Forces both contribute to the NATO KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, which has helped to protect the peace for over 20 years,” reads a press release.
On her visit to the Port of Bar, HMS Richmond hosted a number of diplomatic engagements including the donation of Search and rescue equipment to the Montenegrin Armed Forces and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments to collaborate on tackling organised crime. The ship also hosted Baroness Goldie’s meeting with Prime Minister Krivokapic, a STEM education event with local school children, and a Women in Peace and Security Network event. Also, it hosted a reception and capability demonstration in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday.
“Montenegro is a welcoming and beautiful country. HMS Richmond has been proud to play its part in supporting this key strategic alliance. I thank all involved in making our visit to Bar a success,” said Commanding Officer HMS Richmond, Commander Hugh Botterill.