Canada recognized Montenegro’s independence in June 2006 following the 21 May referendum. Diplomatic relations between Canada and Montenegro were formally established in September 2006. In Montenegro, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Belgrade, Serbia. Montenegro is formally represented in Canada by its Embassy in Washington, D.C.
On June 29, 2010, Montenegro opened a Consulate and appointed an Honorary Consul in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the first Montenegrin Consulate in Canada in the last 92 years, and illustrates the strengthening relationship between our two countries.
Canada and Montenegro enjoy solid relations based on Canada’s support for Montenegro’s reform and transition process, a growing trade and investment relationship, as well as increasing academic and cultural exchanges.
Canada supports Montenegro’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, including its efforts towards EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership. Additionally, Canada, as lead nation, provided financial assistance through a NATO project to assist Montenegro in completing the destruction of its stockpile of anti-personnel landmines in 2007. Canada welcomed Montenegro’s admission into the NATO-run Partnership for Peace program (PfP) in 2006 and the country’s active participation in the Department of National Defence’s Military Training and Co-operation Program (MTCP) shortly thereafter.
The Speaker of the Senate, Noël A. Kinsella, visited Montenegro in September 2013. He met with the President, Prime Minister, and President of Parliament of Montenegro. Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Luksic, visited Canada in April 2014 and met with Foreign Minister Baird and Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), Lynne Yelich. This was the first bilateral visit by any Montenegrin high-level official since independence in 2006.
Canadian Development Assistance
In 2009, the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) officially closed its office in the Western Balkans. CIDA’s legacy is characterized by its involvement in issues related to health, education, and gender equality. During the final year of operations, $620,000 in funding was disbursed for activities in Montenegro.
Although bilateral development projects in Montenegro have concluded, Canada continues to provide small grants through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, to assist local partners in Montenegro with projects aimed at improving respect for the rule of law and human rights, increasing citizen engagement and combatting corruption.
Military and Defense Cooperation
Montenegro also participates in DND’s Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP). The MTCP is administered by the Department of National Defence to train officers from participating countries in the areas of language proficiency (English and French), peace support operations, staff duties and professional development. Since 2007, 40 Montenegrin candidates have been trained through MTCP. For 2014-2015, four training spots were offered to Montenegro.
Trade and Investment
Canada-Montenegro commercial relations are developing. However, Canadian investment commitments have increased in Montenegro in the form of sizeable private investments estimated at well over $100 million to support post-secondary education and development of the country’s tourism sector.
In 2013, Canada’s total merchandise trade with Montenegro amounted to $2.0 million. Canadian exports to Montenegro were $1.4 million (up from $1.0 million in 2012) and consisted primarily of vegetable products, machinery and equipment, textile products and chemical products. Imports in 2013 amounted to $600,000 (similar to the $610,000 in 2012) and were mainly composed of food products.