The Montenegrin government did not heed the recommendation of Western partners, who asked it to continue and commit to the agenda – after the political changes in Montenegro. This is the position of Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović.
Đukanović, who represents Montenegro at the session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, pointed out in an interview for the Voice of America (VOA) that in that sense, during the last year, there has not been a millimetre shift, as he put it.
“As you can see, that is not possible. You know that the three partners in the new alliance of the ruling majority signed an agreement the day after the end of the parliamentary elections, committing themselves to follow the strategic course of the country’s movement. But, with that formality, of course, it was necessary to show during the previous year the real determination to continue by adopting the European value system and creating the assumption that Montenegro soon will actually be an organic part of modern European civilization. Therefore, it is a responsible part of Euro-Atlantic integration “- pointed out President Đukanović, reminding that all negotiation chapters in the accession process of Montenegro to the European Union were opened before last year’s political changes.
“Not even a half step has been taken. The half-step that is now expected is for the new government to meet the preconditions in Chapters 23 and 24 concerning the rule of law, for the European Union to declare that we have met the provisional criteria given to us and to start the process of closing open chapters. . To date, this has not happened. Therefore, there is not even a minimal shift. “What happened, unfortunately, were mostly incidents within the responsibility of our Government for functioning in the NATO alliance,” said Đukanović.
The President reminded on the case of information leakage of some of the NATO member countries.
“Highly confidential information, including the names and surnames of members of the security services of other countries, our NATO partners, has been leaked to the public, and this is considered a truly inadmissible omission,” said the Montenegrin president, who claims that in that case undermined the credibility of the government as a reliable partner to the North Atlantic Alliance.
He confirmed the opinion that “Russia have the intention to make Montenegro a kind of Trojan horse in NATO and the European Union when it becomes a member”, and added that it would be pretentious to believe that Russia is guided by an exclusive interest in the future of Montenegro.
“I believe it would be equally pretentious to believe that Russia is so fatefully tied to the future of the Western Balkans. I think that Russia is facing its conflict with the West, within that conflict I think that its target is Europe, because as a target it is more grateful than the United States, thanks to the complexity of the European system and the differences that exist between EU member states.
Today, Russia is waging its political war with Europe in every part of the European continent where it is given a chance. It can be assumed that the Western Balkans are very suitable as a chance to pursue a destructive policy towards European unity and the European value system, for various reasons. So, these are still unconsolidated states, these are states whose population has a lot of traditional pro-Russian sentiment.
We are therefore grateful to the terrain. I think that Russia is actually trying to thwart the European and Euro-Atlantic perspective of the member states in the Western Balkans. It has been the initiator of Russian destruction towards Montenegro since 2016 when it was at the door of NATO. We resisted that destruction, Montenegro joined NATO, but that does not mean that the Russian destruction was stopped because of that. On the contrary, I would say that we are now witnessing an even more furious offensive from Russia towards Montenegro and towards the Western Balkans with the idea that by punishing Montenegro, in a way, deter all other countries in our region from NATO membership and European Union membership. Will Russia succeed in that – I hope not. If I have to tell you what Montenegro’s determination is to preserve its right to free choice of the future and to preserve its right to the already chosen course of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, I will tell you that it is unshakable,” Đukanović said.