Merkel Offers Montenegro Help to Fight Corruption
Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic said he talked with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday about "shortcomings and weaknesses" related to the fight against organised crime and corruption in Montenegro.
"We are strengthening institutions… to do more so that the rule of law is not a restriction for the development of Montenegro and its European perspective," he said after the meeting, which took place on his first official visit to Germany since he took the post in 2016.
Markovic said this was why he asked Merkel for expert support, which she said Germany would offer.
"We will cooperate even more closely and we offer all possible assistance when it comes to implementing the rule of law and the fight against corruption," the German Chancellor told a press conference after the meeting with Markovic.
Montenegro is often criticised for not doing enough to tackle organised crime and corruption, with Brussels demanding concrete results in fighting corruption at the high political level as one of the main conditions for the country to join the EU.
Merkel said they also talked about illegal migration and better protection of external borders amid demands from some EU members, including Hungary and Austria, to "close" the so-called 'Balkan route' for migrants and refugees, which include Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia.
On Thursday, Montenegro decided to send in the military to secure its borders after seeing an unexpected recent rise in illegal crossings from Albania.
Talking about Montenegro's EU membership perspective, Merkel said that the country has achieved a lot in the accession negotiations with the Union.
She said that the meeting with Markovic was "a clear statement about...