From: Bledar Qalliu
New Montenegrin PM Fires Secret Service Chief Alleged to Have Disclosed NATO Data

Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic has fired the head of the National Security Agency (ANB) Dejan Vuksic in one of his first decisions since his government was approved in parliament one week ago.

“We’re turning a new page. We’re pursuing reforms in the security sector,” Abazovic tweeted on Thursday.

Vuksic was appointed to head the ANB in December 2020 by Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic. He led a political party before that, which was part of the winning coalition led by Krivokapic. His appointment received strong disapproval by the opposition on the grounds that the law prohibited members of political parties to work for the intelligence agency.

The Krivokapic governing coalition survived little more than a year, until internal strife had junior coalition ally Dritan Abazovic decide to form a coalition government supported by the opposition. The parties comprising the previous government had run on an agenda of pro-Serbia, NATO-and-EU-skeptic policy promises.

In March 2020, the secret service chief came under fire over allegations that he had disclosed classified NATO information to parliament members of the Security and Defense Committee. Montenegro has been a NATO member since 2017. 

Abazovic, then the deputy prime minister in charge of security matters, stated that Vuksic “made a mistake” by revealing secret information, while prosecutors launched a preliminary investigation. Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic defended Vuksic, claiming the data dislocated didn’t relate NATO but only the domestic secret service agency. Media reports suggested that the classified information dealt with CIA operatives. 

The prime minister has promised to stick to a pro-EU agenda, and has prioritized the European integration reforms for Montenegro.  He has appointed Savo Kentera as the acting director of the secret service agency. He is the head of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, a foreign policy think-tank.