Chinese state-financed highway endangers Montenegro’s sovereignty

“In 2014, the government of Montenergo entered into a contract with Chinese state-owned company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for the construction of a 169 km highway connecting Bar on the Adriatic in Montenegro to Bojare in Serbia. 85 percent of the project’s estimated $1.1 billion cost is covered by a loan from the state-run Exim Bank of China. This represents approximately 21 percent of Montenegro national GDP. Two feasibility studies conducted by a French and an American company determined that the highway’s traffic would not be enough to justify its costs. The Financial Times reported in April 2019 that the loan agreement allowed Exim bank to potentially seize Montenegrin land should the country fail to service its debt in time. In addition, any dispute arising from the loan is to be settled in an arbitration court in Beijing, placing Montenegro at a clear disadvantage. The Montenegrin government has most of the documents associated with the highway’s construction as secret.”

About This Incident

Threat Actors: China

Incident Metadata

Date: February 2014 - Ongoing
Country: Montenegro