Montenegro. According to COUNTRYAAH, Montenegro has a population of 622,182 (2019). Efforts continued to achieve EU and NATO membership. The country participated in the armed operation in Afghanistan and planned to send troops to fight pirates outside Somalia. The major stumbling block was deficiencies in the judiciary and widespread corruption, just as in other Eastern European states. The special thing about Montenegro was that the Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, was accused of himself being involved in organized crime. He himself did not deny that the state in the 1990s leased its ports and airports which became hubs for cigarette smuggling. According to Đukanović, it was perfectly legal and necessary to manage the economy, which was bankrupt. Montenegro was part of what was then Yugoslavia, which was subject to sanctions in the Balkan wars. Previous charges against motukanović, in the EU and the US.
Montenegro seemed unlikely to strengthen its cards when Thailand’s deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was granted citizenship in March without any official explanation. He only stayed temporarily in the country. A Thai arrest warrant was issued for Thaksin, who was sentenced to prison for corruption in his home country.
Despite the question marks, in a November statement, the EU Commission considered that significant progress had been made towards membership. In December, Montenegro was formally adopted as a candidate country. Just a few days later, Đukanović, who ruled Montenegro for almost 20 years, resigned. Parliament appointed Igor Luksic as new Prime Minister.