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Montenegro: URA movement calls for a referendum on oil and gas exploration

The Civic Movement URA believes that the citizens of Montenegro should decide through a referendum whether they agree with the oil and gas exploration activities in the territorial waters of Montenegro.

The URA movement Miloš Konatar told reporters that the URA, the CIVIS Citizens’ Union, the Black and White Platform and their parliamentary club in the Montenegrin Parliament would launch an initiative to call a referendum on oil and gas exploitation.

Konatar called on the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Capital Investments to support this initiative, as this issue concerns all citizens, and it is up to them to have the final say through a referendum.

He added that they are in favor of an ecological Montenegro, therefore they can not support any decision that endangers sustainable development and the environment.

“We will present a formal proposal to all deputies to support the initiative and a proposal to call a state referendum. We will start the signature collection procedure soon. We must get at least 10% of eligible citizens in the country to register. That’s about 54,000 signatures, and I’m sure we will collect more, “said Konatar.

He stressed that all institutions in the country must respect the decision taken by the citizens.

Konatar called on the Ministry and the Government to make public all agreements regarding the exploitation of oil and gas: “To remove the mark of secrecy from the agreement, because the public has the right to see these agreements.”

He also called on citizens and institutions to organize relevant public debates and roundtables and to open all issues, adding that in the end citizens will decide on the use of oil and gas through a referendum.

URA MP Božena Jelušić said the Montenegrin sea is shallow and closed, so any incident would have unpredictable consequences and damage, while also leading to the destruction of all other forms of the economy.

“Personally, I am more for environmental interests, because energy demand is always important,” Jelušić said, noting that Montenegro has many other sources.

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