Milo Djukanovic revealed how Putin reacted when he was informed about Montenegro joining NATO and EU
"I repeat: I don't have debts on West, nor on East! And Russia, Brussels, and Washington know that very well"
The president of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), Milo Djukanovic, believes that Montenegro has not made a single move to disrupt the relations between Montenegro and Russia, that the deterioration of relations between the two countries is actually a reflex of disorders on the global scene, and that they owe nothing to the West nor the East...
- The deterioration of the relations between Montenegro and Russia reflects a disturbance on the global political scene. Respecting its long-standing friendly and official political relations with Russia, Montenegro has not made a single move with the goal of disrupting them - said Djukanovic in an interview for Podgorica Pobjeda.
At the time of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Djukanovic said, Moscow has repeatedly shown friendship with Montenegro, which was especially evident during preparations for the reconstruction of Montenegrin state independence. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and he "talked openly", adding that Russia was among the first to recognize the independence of Montenegro.
- These are gestures that are appreciated and remembered - said Djukanovic.
- I have informed him very directly after the referendum, during the meeting in Sochi 2006 - said Djukanovic.
When asked how Putin reacted, the DPS leader stated:
- With a very kind question: is it, he asked, really necessary for Montenegro. I said that - not only for Montenegro but also for the Balkans, deprived of reliable self-regulatory mechanisms of its own stability - it is necessary to improve its security through Euro-Atlantic integrations - Djukanovic said.
He assessed that Montenegro "did not make even one decision hastily, ruthlessly or behind anyone's back". Montenegro, Djukanovic is convinced, did not generate Moscow's vigorous reaction to our country's NATO membership.
- I would rather say that the "recomposition" of the relations on the global scene, three decades after the end of the Cold War, has led to the re-evaluation of the great powers. Balkan has always been a suitable field for these games - said the former prime minister.
Speaking of Moscow's reaction, Djukanovic thinks that they suggest that "some expectations of Russia were let down". Official Moscow, he said, "apparently failed to notice that this is no longer Montenegro, which, instead of its own, will go for the interests of Serbia or Russia."
- This is a new and more responsible Montenegro, which in 1999, during the NATO intervention in the FRY, said no to Slobodan Milosevic, it is not our war; it is our interest to live in peace. Finally, it is Montenegro, which in 2016 has clearly stated to Russia that it respects the Montenegrin-Russian friendship, our historical ties and that the NATO and EU membership is our free choice and we expect, especially from friends, to respect that - Djukanovic.
Djukanovic denies allegations by Russian defense and foreign ministers Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov that they owe something to Russia.
- I don't own them anything! Everybody in Moscow knows that who knows anything about Montenegro-Russian relations. Especially Lavrov and Shoigu, with whom I had many unofficial contacts in the previous years - said Djukanovic.
That changed, he claims, not by his fault, because "Moscow probably expected to give up on ourselves for Russian interest", as he explained.
- My "debt" towards Russia is not betraying Montenegro! Finally, If I ever allowed the be placed in debt by anyone during my political career, I would behave servingly and overly polite. Now, I can look anyone straight in the eyes, Montenegro and Russia as well - said Djukanovic.
The former minister said that he is sorry that the world diplomat "succumbed to the atmosphere dictated by Kremlin and allowed himself to believe - if he believed it at all - that Montenegro membership in NATO is returning some debt, which I have towards the West".
- I repeat: I have no debts towards West, nor the East! And Russia, and Brussels, and Washington know that very well - said Djukanovic.
- Serbs in Montenegro cannot be treated as diaspora, not because most of them became Serbs in the political processes of the nineties, but primarily because they and all their ancestors were born in Montenegro - said Djukanovic for Podgorica Pobjeda.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug)