NewsMontenegro's minister initiates action on Bileća lake issue

Montenegro’s minister initiates action on Bileća lake issue

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Minister of Energy and Mining, Saša Mujović, has breathed new life into the long-standing issue surrounding Bileća Lake, announcing concrete steps in an exclusive interview with CdM. He disclosed plans to form a Working Group comprising distinguished experts to address the matter and secure compensation for Montenegro’s use of the reservoirs. Mujović stressed that numerous declarations, regulations, and international conventions permit Montenegro to pursue compensation.

However, he acknowledged the complexity of the situation, advocating for negotiation and agreement through the establishment of a Commission. Arbitration, he noted, is a more complicated and costly process.

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“While all the rights and justice appear to be on our side, resolving this issue isn’t as simple as it seems. Arbitrations are lengthy and expensive, and the state bears the cost,” Mujović explained.

His plan involves forming working teams, urging the involvement of Montenegro’s best experts, including legal and hydrological professionals, to ensure a well-informed approach. Mujović highlighted the need for an updated assessment of the situation, considering changes since the last study in 2005.

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Regarding compensation, he pointed out that Nikšić has not received a concession fee for submerged territory since 1992, suggesting it as a realistic option for resolution.

In addressing the Bileća Lake issue, Mujović emphasized the importance of collaboration, exploring various options for sustainable solutions and potential projects, such as new hydropower plants and water supply initiatives.

The minister concluded by highlighting the need to proceed step by step, considering the conclusions of the working body and the stance of international stakeholders before determining the most viable path forward.

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