Russia is not a democracy system role model for Montenegro and a myth of the traditional friendship is related to the more distant past, said Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic. He added that membership in the European Union and NATO was not a politicians’ whim, but state’s commitment.
He said that divisions in Montenegro existed long ago and that they used to be based on different issues in the past. In recent political history, the strongest divisions existed about the state status.
“This has reflected the identity issue. Thus old social divisions affected new issue – NATO membership. In fact this issue cuts much deeper than the mere membership in a military-political organisation,” Darmanovic told MINA news agency.
He believes that those are divisions symbolising commitment to traditionalist course towards the East and a modern course towards the values of Western democracies.
“The same or similar social and political divisions were earlier reflected through the issue of ethnic identity (Montenegrins vs Serbs) and through the state status (independentism vs federalism). At this point, basically the same opponents clashed about the NATO issue. It is really just a new battle between old historical and political rivals… At the end of the last century opposition to the values of modern democratic societies in Montenegro had its patrons in Serbia, especially under the Milosevic regime. Today, the role is taken by Russia,” he said.
He said that “the former opponents of Montenegrin independence and Western values actually just changed the leader”.
“It seems to me that they have a much stronger ally today. One might say that they actually see Putin as a new Milosevic,” the minister said.