Milica Kovacevic, 2014, European Union discussed on Morning Edition
Here in the mountains outside the capital pulled Carita multi lane Expressway is lined with scaffolding. The Chinese construction company hasn't finished it yet, so cars are using the old road underneath it. It hasn't been paid for yet either. The first payment on the billion dollar loan is due in July, and it's unclear whether Montenegro will be able to pay China back. What's worse, says former Justice Minister Dragan Social. A once completed the road won't lead anywhere anyway. Not yet. At least we make a drug so it is from nothing to nothing. That's because the road Peters out in the middle of the mountains, a tiny 25 miles section of a proposed 270 mile highway that aims to connect Montenegro's port of Bari on the Adriatic Sea. With Belgrade, the capital of neighbouring Serbia. Montenegro's government says the first section alone put it in so much debt that it can no longer afford to build the rest of it. And I think that we will pay not maybe Generation but future generations, But I don't think that is the problem from China. That is our bad decision. He's not the only one blaming the previous government for catapulting the country into historic debt with this project, which was signed in 2014 with the Chinese state contractor and funded by a Chinese state Bank. Earlier this spring, Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dr John Abbott, Soviet spoke to European media in an effort to appeal to the European Union to come to Montenegro's rescue. Montenegro aims to be an EU member. One day we are now victim. All the extremely bad decision of the former government. A copy of the loan contract reviewed by NPR shows that if Montenegro is not able to repay China's state owned Export Import Bank on time, The bank could seize land inside Montenegro as long as it doesn't belong to the military or is used for diplomatic purposes. In addition, Montenegro's former government signed off on allowing a Chinese government court to have the final say on the execution of the contract. Deputy Prime Minister Abbott Ceviche told Euronews and made these terms are incredible. And I don't understand what kind of persons are officials for the former government and which signed the agreement that if something happens, hypothetically, someone can take Your land. This is not normal. This is out of any kind of logic of national interests. Another source of confusion is why China was interested in this project in the first place. For years. Montenegro, which has poor infrastructure had plans to build this highway, says Milica Kovacevic. But European banks weren't interested because they didn't think they'd be paid back. Kovacevich, president of the Center for Democratic Transition in both Dorita has spent her career studying Russian investment and influence in Montenegro. We completely understand Russian policy or this region, and it didn't change for hundreds of years. It was never too occupied. It was to destabilize and to prevent from any Western integration. That was at.