Global Affairs

Montenegro's highway to BRI debt dilemma

The tiny European country desperately needs $1.3b to repay China for a project experts warned against. Should the EU bail it out?

In a few months, Montenegro must start repaying a S$1.3 billion debt it owes to China.PHOTO: REUTERS

The answer is "no", "nein", "non". And the message is the same in every other language of the European Union.

But Montenegro, a small country of only 620,000 inhabitants tucked away on the south-eastern edge of the European continent, has no choice but to set aside its national pride and keep on begging the EU for cash. For in just a few months from now, it must start repaying a US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) debt it owes to China, and it simply does not have the money in its coffers.

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