The European Commission (EC) said on Thursday that Montenegro had recently officially asked the European institutions to help it repay the loan it took from China in 2014 to build a motorway.
“We have received the letter (from Montenegro), and we’re preparing an answer,” Ana Pisonero Hernandes, an EC spokesperson, told the Radio Free Europe (RSF).
Her statement came after Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic’s interview with N1 on Wednesday, in which he denied reports that Podgorica asked Brussels to help it repay the debt.
On Monday, her colleague Peter Stano said the EU would not help Montenegro repay the loan.
The officials who had access to the letter said Podgorica requested support to diversify China’s debt and finish the remaining part of the motorway.
The EC sources said that the Commission had been in constant contact with Podgorica authorities since there was a wish to help Montenegro sustain public debt, but that did not mean the EU would repay the loan country took from China.
The sources added Podgorica was aware there was no “simple solution to the situation.”
RFE quoted its sources as saying the EC should answer Podgorica’s letter by the end of April, while Brussels’ experts worked on possible solutions to help Montenegro in this situation.
A source said there was a mechanism of fiscal consolidation but that the situation in Montenegro was so specific that it made it difficult to predict what solution the EC would opt for.
The original price was some 809 million Dollars but was increased by 90 million to construct access roads to Podgorica and communal infrastructure along the motorway.