Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has said that the Balkans continue to be a region of confrontation of the interests and strategic goals of various international actors.
He made the remarks in a speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, which is working in New York, USA.
“Even today there are challenges and threats to multiethnic democracy in the Balkans. “The Western Balkans is again an arena of geopolitical interests, the consequences of which are the slowdown of the integration of the societies of the Western Balkans in their natural European environment”, added the Montenegrin president.
Djukanovic said Montenegro warns of the renewed danger of destabilizing the Western Balkans and narrowing the space of its European perspective.
Earlier, a new report by the Bulgaria-based Center for the Study of Democracy said negative impacts on the environment and the quality of governance had been observed in countries where Chinese capital had entered.
Much of Beijing’s influence has focused on Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Western Balkans, mainly Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
According to the report, the countries that have suffered the most in declining governance standards and rising debt levels are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia.
A $ 1 billion highway construction project in Montenegro has been put at the center of the debate over Chinese influence in Europe.
Montenegro had announced that it would not be able to repay its debt to the Export-Import Bank of China.
In addition to the debt issue, this project was also criticized for its cost.
Eventually, Podgorica received debt assistance from a number of US and European institutions to help stabilize its finances and meet loan repayments.
Russian influence is also considered by Western countries to be very problematic in the Western Balkans.
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