Posted 12 сентября 2022,, 11:47

Published 12 сентября 2022,, 11:47

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Minus a third of income: what will Montenegro lose by introducing a visa regime with Russia

Minus a third of income: what will Montenegro lose by introducing a visa regime with Russia

12 сентября 2022, 11:47
Фото: Соцсети
Income from Russian tourists is a significant part of the Montenegrin budget.

As you know, on September 12, the EU countries canceled the so-called "facilitated visa regime" for Russian citizens. Now, in order to get a visa to these countries, you will need to make much more effort and pay a lot more money, and you will have to forget about long-term visas altogether. In addition, even holders of a Schengen visa cannot enter the Baltic countries, Finland and Poland now. Now Montenegro is joining this "club of persecutors of Russians". Foreign Minister of this country Ranko Krivokapic considers it necessary to introduce visas for Russian citizens. In his opinion, Montenegro, as a "loyal partner", should be on the side of the European Union in the issue of suspension of the visa facilitation agreement with Russia. The European Union will terminate the visa facilitation agreement with Russia on September 12.

“Montenegro has become an appendage of the EU…”

Recall that since September 2008 an agreement on a simplified visa regime has been in force between Russia and Montenegro. It was concluded in New York. Now citizens of the Russian Federation can stay in Montenegro without a visa for no more than 30 days if they have a valid passport. To stay in Montenegro for more than 30 days, Russians must obtain a multiple-entry visa for three months at the Embassy of Montenegro.

The State Duma of the Russian Federation reacted to this proposal of the Montenegrin authorities. Dmitry Novikov , First Deputy of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, in an interview with the radio station "Moscow Speaks" called Montenegro "an appendage of the EU and NATO." The proposal on visas follows from this, the deputy said.

Montenegrin politics has become not even a pitiful semblance of independent government, but is the transformation of Montenegro into a complete appendage of the EU and NATO. When the Baltic states announced the need to introduce full visa control in relation to Russia, to ban Russians from obtaining Schengen visas, it was clear that not everyone would agree to introduce a rigid iron wall between our countries. Those who are determined to build a long-term policy with us understand that the introduction of a complete ban on crossing the border by citizens of the EU and the Russian Federation does not correspond to the interests of the EU itself .”

Recall that back in June, the Montenegrin authorities froze the real estate of citizens of the Russian Federation and closed the airspace for the plane of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, who was heading for negotiations in the capital of Serbia, Belgrade.

What will Montenegro live on now?

Network analyst Alexander Lapshin talks about what such a decision threatens Montenegro itself:

“The statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro puzzled me. With all due respect to this republic, the beauty of its nature and the abundance of historical monuments, one must understand that this is a failed state, in other words, a developing state with a ruined economy, existing due to three factors:

  1. Tourism
  2. Income from Serbian transit to the port of Bar
  3. Laundering gray money mainly from Russia.

I understand the rich countries of Europe, which, in order to support Ukraine, can afford to lose billions, but these amounts are insignificant for them, given the powerful economy. But when it comes to a country that lives only on tourism, the decision to close the entry of Russians (since with a visa-free Turkey, few people will run for Montenegrin visas) is an adventurous move.

In Montenegro, there is no industry, no regional infrastructure and logistics centers, no centers of high technology.

The Russians take the second place (after the Serbs) in terms of the number of tourists visiting Montenegro, and specifically about 25% of all tourists visiting this country. They, the Russians, make up even more, up to 40% of all foreigners who buy real estate in Montenegro and invest in projects related to tourism. It is easy to calculate that if the Russians as a whole brought about a third of all Montenegro's income, then by making such a strange demarche with the introduction of visas, Montenegrins will miss a third of the 1.4 billion euros that the country earns annually from tourism. Add to this the gray schemes for laundering money from Russia, due to which the country also makes excellent money, and Montenegrin officials have become millionaires.

What will Montenegro get in return for the loss of 400-600 million euros per year and the dismissal of many thousands of citizens who worked in the tourism sector? Probably, the European Union will finance the construction of some road, or patching up holes in an existing road. Or they will repair some museum of folk art ... "

Portugal also introduces visa restrictions for Russians

The position of Russians wishing to go to Greece or Portugal will also become more difficult. So, until now, the Greek visa program was considered one of the most attractive in Europe. This is due to the availability of local real estate and its liquidity as rental housing, as well as the ability to process transactions remotely. In addition, the Greek residence permit allows you to draw up documents for the next of kin, reminded Kommersant

Now the “golden visas” in Greece have doubled in price. The minimum investment to obtain a document is now €500,000. As the government said, Athens thereby wants to increase the availability of Greek real estate for its citizens.

And Portugal, apparently, has generally curtailed the program for issuing a residence permit in exchange for investments for Russian citizens. According to the newspaper Publico, from February to August, at least ten compatriots applied with a corresponding application, but all of them were refused.