By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade, Podgorica
“I am certain that relations between Serbia and Montenegro are moving in a promising way. All the issues which have been conserving these relations, or moving them backward, making us prisoners of the past, are eliminated or about to be eliminated. Objectively, it is difficult to explain the fact that prime minister of Montenegro has visited Serbia only twice in last 10 years”, Miodrag Vukovic, Member of Parliament of Montenegro and high official of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) told IBNA. Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has visited Belgrade last week, signaling fresh improvement in relations between neighboring countries.
Do you find that the power change in Serbia after 2012 elections has been the key factor in order relations between two countries to be improved?
„It is rather about the change of political project, power change is not essential. Current Serbian government did certain moves which the previous ones were not eager to do. With regard to European integrations, Serbia was in big delay owing to previous governments which have been focused on “fixing things” in the region rather than do the same at home. The new government distanced itself from policies which were anti-Serbian, which means contrary to Serbian interests.”
How would you comment PM Djukanovic’s statement that relations between Serbia and Montenegro “are especially brotherly when they are founded in interests”?
“In politics, there are no “brothers”, neither “closest countries”. The interest is the precondition for the political position. If the interest is forthright one, objective, honest and it does not pose the threat to others, it does represent the will for good relations. Has Montenegro ever proclaimed invading foreign territories to be in its national interest? We have attacked Konavle region twice for the sake of Russians. Montenegrins have been pushed by the others to storm Dubrovnik in 1991”.
Do you think that recent Djukanovic’s offer „Serbian parties“to join the government is in connection with the relations in ruling coalition, between DPS and Social democratic Party (SDP)? In October, Djukanovic said SDP is a rival to DPS.
“Well, all the parties are rivals”.
Yes, but we are talking about the relations between ruling parties.
“The political parties do not lose their autonomy after coalition is made. When it comes to Djukanovic’s proposal, he has not said that for the first time. We were always asking certain parties – including parties with Serbian national sentiments – to refrain from misusing emotions. Anti-Montenegrin, anti-Serbian or anti-Albanian political concepts cannot make success in Montenegro any more, nor this was the case in the past. The only acceptable concept is the civic one”.
Do you think Djukanovic’s offer can be interpreted as a scenario for pushing out SDP from government?
“Some say that DPS is the core of the government which has not been changed for 24 years, which is not correct. In the beginning, we were the only ruling party; since then, coalitions were different. At some point, we have created alliance with liberals, but it was broken. Now we have problems with SDP and disbanding the coalition is possible scenario. However, breaking coalition is possible in all democratic countries. The possibility of any party with Serbian national sentiment to join the government would mean widening the alliance which is focused on wellbeing of Montenegro.”