Montenegro

Montenegro adopts law on religion amid protests by pro-Serbs

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegro’s parliament adopted a contested law on religious rights early Friday after chaotic scenes in the assembly that resulted in the detention of all pro-Serb opposition lawmakers.

The vote followed a day of nationwide protests by supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church who say the law will strip the church of its property, including medieval monasteries and churches. The government has denied that.

Montenegro police ban opposition rally against religion bill

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Police on Thursday sealed off the central part of Montenegro’s capital to prevent protests by pro-Serb opposition against a proposed law regarding religious communities and property.

Dozens of police officers put up metal barriers in Podgorica ahead of a parliamentary debate on the bill. Police said they banned the opposition rally because it had not been announced in time.

The draft law says religious communities would need to produce evidence of ownership of their property from before 1918, when Montenegro joined a Balkan kingdom.

Montenegro to deploy troops to stem migrant flows

21 Dec 2019; MEMO: Montenegro will deploy troops to its borders in response to a rise in the number of migrants passing through the country on a new Balkan route to the European Union, Reuters reports.

Nearly 8,000 migrants from the Middle East and North Africa transited Montenegro in 2019 en route to wealthier EU countries, nearly double the previous year’s total, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Pompeo in Montenegro as Trump impeachment inquiry picks up

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Montenegro to show support for the NATO ally as a Ukraine-focused impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump picks up steam.

Pompeo arrived in Podgorica on Friday, a day after one of his former top aides told congressional investigators about efforts to press Ukraine’s government to open a corruption probe that could have targeted former Vice President Joe Biden’s son. Pompeo did not speak to reporters aboard his plane during the brief flight from Rome.

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