OREANDA-NEWS Prime Minister Duško Marković said that his today’s meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was very meaningful and that they discussed numerous topics, such as the prospective membership of Montenegro in NATO, situation in the Western Balkans and the Russian presence, which encourages destructive forces in the region.

"It was really a unique opportunity to open up all those issues concerning bilateral relations between the United States and Montenegro, but also those affecting the Western Balkans, the European Union and the world. We agreed that the US - Montenegrin relations are at a high level, which was particularly demonstrated by the rapid ratification of the Protocol on Montenegro's membership in NATO in the Senate, as well as President Trump’s quick reaction and Secretary of State Tillerson’s letter of support sent to the Senate," said Prime Minister Marković.

He added that the meeting discussed stability and peace in the Western Balkans, as a condition for European and Euro-Atlantic perspective in circumstances where there are much more instability and risks that stability and active policies.

"We agreed that it is primarily the responsibility of the Western Balkan leaders to find the best solutions for European and Euro-Atlantic vision of the Balkans and not to disturb our partners and friends with our own problems," said the Prime Minister, adding that it was concluded that Montenegro is a positive example in that regard.

"Montenegro solves its problems on its own. In all probability, we will officially become a NATO member on the 5th of June. As to our EU agenda, we have opened 26 out of 33 chapters, we will open a few more this year, while making efforts towards creating a favourable business environment, strengthening institutions and creating conditions for faster economic growth, new jobs and a better quality of life," PM Marković stated.

He added that the meeting also discussed the Russian presence in the Western Balkan region, which encourages and nourishes destructive and pro-nationalist forces aiming to obstruct European and Euro-Atlantic perspective of Montenegro and other Western Balkan countries.

"We agreed that Montenegro has made a very strong and serious response to this destruction coming from Russia. We will seek answers on how to bring relations with Russia to a rational and acceptable level through establishing dialogue and pursuing a determined policy, " the Prime Minister underlined.

Prime Minister Duško Marković said that it is important to create more opportunities for the US investors’ presence in Montenegro to order to invest in tourism, energy, agriculture and infrastructure.

"That is why strengthening the rule of law and successful fight against crime and corruption are of paramount importance. In that context, the US State Department and the Government will provide strong support to Montenegro’s institutions in ensuring the required level of professionalism and sustainability," the Prime Minister of Montenegro told the press following his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington earlier today.