At the session of the Assembly of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, changes in the governing structure of the organization were noted. The mandate of the long-serving President of the Atlantic Council, Savo Kentera, has terminated due to his election to the position of Director of the National Security Agency. The Assembly also notes the termination of the mandate of the current Vice President of the Atlantic Council, Ranko Krivokapić, due to taking over the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

Kentera’s remarkable contribution to the development of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro over the past 15 years was highlighted. Under his mandate the Atlantic Council has become one of Montenegro’s leading think-tanks dedicated to regional peace and security, emphasizing NATO’s strategic importance for the stability of the entire European and Euro-Atlantic area, including the Western Balkan region.

The Atlantic Council congratulates Kentera and Krivokapić on taking over state positions in this very important transitional moment for Montenegro, believing that they will make a significant contribution to protecting Montenegro’s national interests and strengthening its international reputation in their new capacities.

A new member, Vlatko Cvrtila, joins the renewed structure of the Governing Board of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro consisting of Milica Pejanović-Đurišić, Sharyl Cross, and John Allen, while Azra Karastanović will represent the Atlantic Council of Montenegro as the Executive Director.

In the future, the Atlantic Council will continue to strongly advocate for the democratic development of Montenegro and Montenegrin society on the Euro-Atlantic and EU path. It will continue to respect and strengthen Western values, making even greater efforts to improve the understanding, importance, and role of the NATO Alliance, which brought peace to the Western Balkan region as well as security to Montenegro.

For the sixth issue of our ACM Briefs, published in May 2022, we would like to introduce a study on War in Ukraine and Russian action towards Western Balkan. These policy briefs are a part of the bigger project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (GMF) and USAID, aimed at providing laser-sharp insights into the political and social trends in the region, strengthen dialogue, present concrete policy recommendations regarding pressing international and security issues in the Western Balkans.

Policy Brief gives an overview of how Russian war in Ukraine can affect the Western Balkans. Russia is exploiting Moldova, Georgia, and the Western Balkans as potential new avenues to undermine Europe where Russia resorts to its well-known playbook of exploiting existing divisions and exacerbating secessionist tensions. The war in Ukraine also has an impact on the Western Balkans and the West should look for early warnings in the information space, as they are good indicators of Russia’s moves. Understanding these operations is essential in shaping an appropriate response from the West. That response must actively challenge and counter Russia’s information operations in the Western Balkans.

The complete Brief is available here