Croatian President Zoran Milanović and his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Đukanović met today in Zagreb, where Đukanović travelled in the official two-day visit
After the meeting, Milanović told the press that he supported the modern, civic and open Montenegro.
Commenting on the rising political and ethnic tensions triggered off by the recent inauguration of a Serbian Orthodox Church bishop in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje, Milanović said that the Montenegrin head of state was expected to pay a reciprocal visit to Zagreb anyway, however, “the latest developments in Montenegro have accelerated it to happen.”
Đukanović’s visit ensued the day after the opposition parties, led by Đukanović’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) demanded that a transitional government should be set up which would be tasked with calling early parliamentary elections.
Milanović told the press conference in Zagreb that Đukanović’s visit was an opportunity to extend support to “the modern, civic and open Montenegro”. He went on to say that Croatia’s relations with Montenegro are good and added that the relations had oscillations, however all that has been settled.
Milanović went on to say that Montenegro, Albania, and North Macedonia deserved preferential treatment on their journey towards the European Union.
My duty is to attract the attention of those in the EU who cannot see that to this fact, he added.
The Montenegrin president arrived in Zagreb on his first official visit abroad since the situation in his country has worsened with the 5 September enthronement of Joanikije in Cetinje.
Đukanović said that after a year of work of the new government, certain values that Montenegro has achieved in the past period are being systematically collapsed, and, he says, the path of integration into the European Union has been completely stopped. He pointed out that the state does not have a government that protects the national interests of Montenegro, and that the opposition must make sure to get it.
Đukanović said that it was good that people understood that not every change that happens is a change for the better.
“I think it would be good to bring about change, to keep Montenegro on the track of EU integration and to stop the decline in time. It will depend on the mood of the citizens of our country, the time is our ally and, therefore, I do not regret this year”, stated Đukanović.
He does not regret, as he said, for these one year since the change of government that must have taken place at some point.
“International support comes as a matter of upgrading. Montenegro has had and still has support for civic and secular identity and that is exactly what has been attacked now. It has been attacked by the Government’s servility towards the centres of great state nationalism in Belgrade. I think it is it takes time for this to become clear to the domestic and international public,” Đukanović said.
It is not necessary, says Đukanović, to draw a conclusion now as to who has support for what.
“I think it is crucial that in Montenegro matures awareness of the need to have a government that will protect the interests of Montenegro. At this moment, we do not have it, Cetinje has shown that,” said Đukanović.