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Montenegro: EU will not repay debts with China for highway

Podgorica asked for help with a $ 1bn loan

12 April, 18:33
(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, 12 APR - "Europe will not repay the loans" that Montenegro and other partner states in the Balkans "have contracted with third parties." Josep Borrell's spokesman, Peter Stano, said responding to reporters regarding the request for assistance addressed by the Podgorica government to the EU to pay the debt contracted with the Chinese bank ExIm Bank to construct a highway in the country. The deal dates back to 2014 and provides a loan from the Chinese credit institution worth 1 billion dollars to bankroll 85% of the highway.

"Europe is concerned about the socio-economic and financial effects of some Chinese investments in Montenegro, and there is a risk of macroeconomic imbalances and debt dependence," he added, remarking, however, that the partner countries "are free to establish their investment objectives." "The EU - he underlined - is already Montenegro's largest provider of financial assistance, biggest investor, and major trading partner, and the same is true for the other Balkan countries." (ANSA).

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