Tour operators strongly suggest not to send Russians in Montenegro. Why?
April 20, the official representative of the foreign Ministry of Russia Maria Zakharova said that Montenegro started the “anti-Russian hysteria” and urged Russians “to take account of these circumstances.” At the same time, Russian media started to publish materials critical of the travel agencies that sell trips to Montenegro, and on April 26, Rospotrebnadzor banned the import to Russia of wines from Montenegrin largest manufacturer. “Jellyfish” tells the story of how and why the Russian authorities are trying to weaken the Montenegrin economy.
What happened between Russia and Montenegro?
October 16, 2016, the day of the elections to the Parliament of Montenegro, the country has seen a coup attempt, in which they planned the assassination of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. This was stated by the Montenegrin law enforcement agencies, announced the arrest of 20 people suspected of organizing the coup.
A little later in the preparation of the coup, accused of some “Russian nationalists” — Montenegrin Prosecutor’s office even called them names.
The media also reported that from Serbia in conjunction with Montenegro event was deported a few Russians. The Kremlin denied all charges.
Tensions between Russia and Montenegro arose earlier — when Djukanovic announced a policy of rapprochement with NATO. The Protocol on accession to the organization was made in may 2016 11 April 2017 it was signed by the President of the United States Donald trump. To Montenegro officially became a member of the Alliance, the Protocol must be ratified by four more countries — participants of NATO.
April 20, the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova at a briefing with Russian journalists said that Montenegro seen “a surge of anti-Russian hysteria”. She emphasized that against the background of “growth of negative attitude to Russian business and our countrymen,” what is happening with the filing of the Montenegrin authorities, it is possible the detention of Russians “dubious motives” and trying to pass them to third countries — primarily the United States. The recent extension of visa-free regime for Russians to 90 days Zakharova called “gimmick”.
As to the cooling of relations between Russia and Montenegro has reacted to the media?
Over the last month and a half in several Russian media stories and materials that Montenegro is unsafe for Russians. So, on March 28, “Russia-1” told about “extinct Russian villages around the coast of the [Adriatic sea]”, “rampant crime” in the local resorts and that Montenegro “has never had a good service” (user “Peekaboo” living in Montenegro, claimed that the crew was offered money “for an interview with the “correct” orientation”). A similar story came on the TV channel “Star”.
April 16, the First channel in the story “how you can please yourself by choosing a vacation in Russia?” reported that in Montenegro there are problems with tourist infrastructure and even sewer.
After the statement Zakharova RATA-news — industry-the newspaper of the Russian Union of travel industry — released material, in which the representatives of the tourist industry, working with Montenegro, said that neither they nor the tourists any negativity in your address does not feel. Edition of Life responded to the publication of the article entitled “Montenegro gambit: Russian operators subservient to NATO?”; after a few days Life said: “the Russian Union of travel industry ignores warnings of the Russian foreign Ministry and Federal Agency for tourism of Montenegro, because dozens of its members are closely associated business with that country” (meaning that the members of the Union of tour operators offer tours in Montenegro).
As one of the illustrations to the material used was a photo taken in 2015 during the riots in Kosovo.
What tour operators say?
According to the Russian law on fundamentals of tourist activities, operators and agents are required to inform customers “about consumer properties of the product”. However, as noted by a member of the legal Commission of the Russian Union of travel industry and the head of the Agency “Gladun consulting” Anna Gladun, the statement Maria Zakharova has no legal status, which would oblige travel companies to report to customers.
The basis for the formal ban to sell tickets for a certain direction can only be the official statement of the Ministry of foreign Affairs or the tourism that the region is a threat to security, life and health of Russian citizens.
The representatives of Russian tour operators said “jellyfish” that is not going to cease cooperation with the Montenegrin partners. “Contracts with the foreign party are well before the opening of the season [which takes place April 29], and to date, reasons to terminate them from us was not, — said the head of the Montenegrin direction of the tourist company “PAKS” Galina Maksimova. To solve the issue of suspension agreements, we will only in the case that received the corresponding order from the Ministry of foreign Affairs or tourism. People watch the news, call the company and find out whether in the region, they can wait for the danger, but it’s all just questions. In fact, even a single cancellation has not happened.”
Boka Kotor from the observation deck
This information confirms Lyudmila Melnik — Manager for the Montenegrin tourism Department of the company “Vand”. “A colleague just resting in Montenegro and reports that any harassment of the Russians there, even the question, she says. — We won’t terminate the contracts with the Montenegrin colleagues, quite the contrary — we have this year got there new partners.”
Press Secretary of the Russian Union of travel industry Irina Tyurina said that the statements of the Russian authorities still can affect the number of people willing to go to Montenegro. “People don’t understand that [these statements] are purely political in nature — she explains. Clients began to call the operators and ask questions about how dangerous can be a trip to Montenegro and how much danger is there to expect.”
For Montenegro important tourism from Russia?
Tourism is one of the main branches of economy of Montenegro, and Russia is one of the most important markets. As Turin says, the Russians in recent years provided approximately one sixth of the total Montenegrin tourist arrivals. Thus, according to Rosstat, in 2016 Montenegro was not included even in the top twenty most visited countries by Russians — for the year to go there 283 thousand people.
Tyurin believes that if the number of tourists in Montenegro will really start to fall, losses for the Russian market will be small — “but the Montenegrin economy, particularly its tourism sector, it will cause a noticeable impact.”
Why banned Montenegrin wine?
26 APR CPS announced that in the wines of the Montenegrin company Plantaze were identified as pesticides and plasticizers, and imposed an embargo on the supply of its products to Russia. Although Plantaze — the major wine company in the Balkans, the Center of researches Federal and regional alcohol markets said that its share in the Russian market is extremely small and the lack of Montenegrin wine “nobody will notice”.
The Director Plantaze Milan Milutinovic said that the Russian market accounts for 20 percent of all supplies of the company. Milutinovic also said that their wines sent for examination in three independent laboratories, which revealed in the products of his company only a minor violation, and is now going to sue the CPS to the court.
Russia is not the first time enters the food embargo against countries with which it has relationships go bad. So, in 2006 Rospotrebnadzor has temporarily banned the import of wine from Georgia and Moldova, as well as Georgian mineral water “Borjomi” and “Nabeglavi” (at that time, Russia was the largest trade partner of Georgia). In 2015, banned the import of canned fish from Latvia and Estonia.
What people think about it in Montenegro?
The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Montenegro has denied allegations Zakharov about the presence of Russophobia in the country. Prime Minister Dusko Markovic directly linked the ban on the import of wines from Montenegrin accession of Montenegro to NATO.
The Deputy head of the coordination Council of Russian compatriots in Montenegro Sergei Sychev did not notice the deterioration of relations with Russians living in Montenegro.
Statements about the danger is, of course, the response on the foreign policy vector Montenegrin blastasia sidewalktile the head of the coordination Council of Russian compatriots in Montenegro
Sychev considers that this situation could negatively affect the local tourism business: he “heard from a few friends Montenegrin travel agencies about cases of cancellation of reservation”.
Russian art Manager Marat Guelman, who moved to Montenegro a few years ago, also said “the Medusa”, which, according to his observations, the attitude of citizens of Montenegro to the Russian tourists not in the least deteriorated.
“Russian tourists for the may holidays came even more than last year, he said. — Generally speaking Russia is blackmailing Montenegro tourism is not the first year, and Montenegrins react to it. But not an aggression against the Russian tourists, and create cultural exhibitions and improved tourism program. Relations between Russia and Montenegro were built more than three hundred years, and I am sure that the current policy fails to worsen, especially since there is now home to many Russians and many of them are your business.”