The conflict in Ukraine has had far-reaching consequences, not only on the nation itself but also on neighboring countries and regions. Nowhere is this more evident than in Montenegro, a small Balkan state with an estimated population of 650,000. In recent years, Montenegro has emerged as a key battlefield in the renewed geopolitical struggle between West and East, with both sides vying to influence its future path.
The current situation in Montenegro reflects the wider tensions between Russia and Europe that have arisen from the Ukrainian crisis. In 2017, Montenegrin authorities allowed NATO to deploy troops within their borders, further intensifying Moscow’s suspicions of Western encroachment into what they perceive as their sphere of influence. This prompted Russia to increase its support for pro-Russian political parties and activists in Montenegro who are seeking to counter NATO’s presence.
At the same time, Ukraine’s ongoing conflict has caused significant economic disruption throughout the Balkans with Montenegro being no exception. The country faces a number of problems related to lack of investment and employment opportunities for its citizens which are all exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. This makes it harder for Montenegrins to travel abroad and restricts their access to foreign markets at home.
The story of Montenegro is an important reminder of how quickly geopolitical situations can spiral out of control and affect even those countries that may be geographically removed from a particular conflict. To better understand these issues, we encourage viewers to watch ‘Montenegro: A War Within’ – a gripping documentary which showcases first-hand accounts from those living through these turbulent times. Through interviews with politicians, officials and everyday people you will gain an insight into how deeply divided this nation is over its relations with Russia and the EU while also getting closer to understanding what drives them towards one side or another.