Presentation of the military exercise that was supposed to take place on Sinjajevina last week has been delayed until security conditions are met. Armed Forces of Montenegro and Ministry of Defense have informed competent institutions, Council for Security and Defense, Government, State Prosecutor’s Office and Police department in order to take measures within their competences and organize military exercise as soon as possible.
Ministry points out that they won’t abandon that plan.
“We will abide by the technical Government, until the new one is formed. It is important to point out that the army will not confront its citizens. General Headquarters takes this opportunity to express gratitude to citizens for the support and for offering their land for the purposes of the army. Armed Forces of Montenegro will always stand by their citizens at their service, and never to their detriment”, Ministry stated.
Around 50 soldiers will take part in the exercise.
“Stationary camping and mortar shooting 82 mm and 120 mm will be organized in the training-shooting room. This exercise is the crown of the training and refers to its basis mission – defense of independence, sovereignty and state territory of Montenegro”, Ministry points out.
This exercise is nothing new. Similar exercise was carried out last year on Sinjajevina. Yugoslav People’s Army also used this mountain as their military training ground.
This year, a couple of days before the announced date of the exercise, Sinjajevina was “occupied” by NGO activists, cattle-breeders and politicians who stood in the defense of the mountain. What they managed to do is delay, not total suspension of the exercise.
“Given the fact that this is not the first exercise on this location, the moment some activists decided to react is very disputable. However, in order for the exercise to be carried out, security requirements must be met, which means that entering marked zones in the shooting region is forbidden. We can state that these conditions haven’t been met”, Ministry reiterated.
Although a great number of citizens have been offering their land, Ministry says that Sinjajevina meets all the requirements for the exercise.
“On the basis of the comprehensive analysis, Sinjajevina has been chosen as the most optimal location and configuration of this terrain can respond to the needs of the Armed Forces of Montenegro. Before rendering any decision, army referred to all relevant institutions asking for the opinion. After receiving positive answer from these institutions, the Government brought decision on the formation of the training-shooting area on Sinjajevina”, Ministry points out.
Having regard to the fact that Sinjejevina is part of the UNESCO, Ministry also acquainted UNESCO with the decision, which said that everything had been done in accordance with recommendations.
“Before the decision was adopted, Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces of Montenegro organized a session in May 2018 to discuss their plans with the residents of Kolašin”, Ministry said.
Several analyses on the impact of the exercise on the environment have been carried out as well.
Ministry of Defense has invested considerable funds for the needs of the research in the zero state of biodiversity and specific additional research, in line with Natura 2000 standards, in order for the training and shooting area to be organized.