Đukanović: Great Serbian national project has been revived

The great Serbian national project has been revived. That project tends to provide some form of compensation to Serbia for lost Kosovo. Montenegro is, of course, the most wanted target of the great Serbia nationalism, said Montenegro’s president, Mr. Milo Đukanović, in the interview for ORF TV, the TV channel of the national public service of Austria.

Do you still believe that DPS and its coalition partners don’t have an absolute majority in Parliament? Do you think that the party still has a chance to form the government?

“We now have unofficial results of the elections and DPS accepted them. We congratulated our competition on the result. We are now waiting for the process to finish completely, to hear the official results of the State Election Commission. We don’t expect any significant changes.

We believe preliminary results will be official results and that the coalition composed of three parties will have 41 seats in the parliament while DPS will have one seat less, 40 that is.

As far as the formation of the government is concerned, that is the process that is yet to begin. We’ll see if this coalition will be able to establish that level of program and political closeness to form the government and assume responsibilities for the execution of power in MNE.

DPS has been the backbone of state policy for a very long time and today we are the strongest party in Montenegro, even after the elections. We will always be ready to assume responsibility for Montenegro’s state policy but we are also ready to be responsible, the strongest opposition party that will take care of strategic national interests.

Earlier today opposition accused you and your party of being behind some incidents in Pljevlja. They said election commissions want to change these results through new elections. What’s your comment?

“You know, speculations have always been popular on Montenegrin political stage. Just remember the speculations about the current government in previous years. They were always designed to provoke the change of government and divert Montenegro from its strategic course. After these elections, people speculated that DPS will use all means to defend the power. As you can see, none of that is happening.

I have already said we congratulated our competition on their result. Therefore, it is not our option to question what is an undisputable democratic fact. That fact says that this coalition had slightly more votes than our coalition. We really want to develop Montenegro as a stable and democratic society, we accept the democratic will of our citizens and we believe that we must fight for some principles of democratic society both as a governing party and coalition.

Montenegro has no experience with cohabitation. I remember when that happened in France for the first time, it was thought it wouldn’t be able to function. In the presidential election, you had the majority. You remain president. What do you think? How this cohabitation will develop?

“It will definitely comply with the Constitution. I am sure that Montenegro will confirm what we have been fighting for over the past 25 years. I think there’s a respectable level of democratic culture in MNE, there’s a responsible relationship with stability, and an important part of the stability of society in compliance with the Constitution.

As you said, a new challenge is ahead of us. The government will consist of one political structure, I will be president of the country, as representative of other political structure.

It’s not that sensational. We know that Montenegro has been functioning as a divided society for a long time, as a consequence of historic divisions that our generation inherited. We tried to deal with these divisions in a civilized manner and bring people from these two distant shores together through the emancipation process. That produced certain results that should not be underestimated.

Meanwhile, Montenegro has made considerable progress, developed its institutions, improved economic development, acceded NATO. There’s only this moment now when people wanted a change of government and now that’s what they got. It is our duty to respect their will.

I have been head of the government for a long time, seven terms of office to be precise. I have been serving as president for more than two years. I could have meddled into competencies of the government if I’d wanted. But I never did that.

Why would I do that now? I have my own competencies, I have legitimacy. Therefore, in accordance with the political culture and my experience, I am ready to do my job in the interest of this country. I am willing to cooperate with people who don’t share my views, hoping that they will start to pursue the policy which represents the strategic course of Montenegro’s development.

Serbian flags were conspicuous at the celebrations in the election night. Coalition “Za budućnost Crne Gore” has eight parties, one of which is pro-Serbian and pro-Russian. When politicians met Vladimir Putin in Belgrade, they said: Our president is Vladimir Putin, not Milo Đukanović. What these results could mean to relations between Montenegro and Serbia?

“I believe this iconography you have mentioned comes as a surprise only to those unacquainted. We have been warning our European partners that two visions of the future are in sharp contrast not only in MNE but in the entire region. You know that our vision is one of the European future of WB.

We don’t think WB can consolidate its stability alone. We believe we need the EU and NATO.

Contrary to that vision, there’s a vision that wants to restore all conservative and retrograde policies we could see in the 1990s. That’s the policy of extreme nationalism, the one that wants to change the borders in the Balkans, the one that led to the war in which almost 150.000 died.

Unfortunately, developments on the wider stage and within NATO have led the international community to take its eye off the ball of the WB. Policies of the great state nationalism of the 1990s are restored and that might bring European and Euro-Atlantic courses into question.

Officials of Moscow have meddled into the political life of every European country and the USA. Why would the Balkan region be an exception? As we can see, the Great Serbian national project has been revived. That project tends to provide some form of compensation to Serbia for lost Kosovo. Montenegro is, of course, the most wanted target of the great Serbian nationalism.

Montenegro will be forced to deal with that, and we are ready for that.

Let’s just hope this policy won’t spread any further and that our strategic partners will show a greater level of attention in the forthcoming period.

If the new government is formed, it will have 15 different parties, parties of different profiles amid an economic crisis. What does that mean? What does this change mean to the region?

“I just want to emphasize that our policy will continue to be the policy of pro-European development, the policy of a civil state, and reinforcement of multi-ethnic harmony.

Elections are always a great opportunity to check democratic moods in the public. We don’t want to discuss it and question the election will of our citizens.

If the coalition that won manages to form the government now, we are going to fight just as fervently from opposition seats. Will jeopardizing some pro-European policy in MNE help the European perspective of WB? No, it will not. Because MNE has been the most convincing promoter of European values in the region.

I think Europe should have studied this phenomenon in more detail and tried to prevent the metastasis of this retrograde political influence in European, democratic, and political tissue. But let’s hope that every experience will serve as a warning.

Europe has to protect his identity, first of all, it has to protect its safety and foreign policy interests, it has to protect its democracy and consolidate its position of an important geopolitical player in the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

That alliance has its values. I think it’s very important to reinforce it, give it new energy, new breath to keep playing the role of a leader of positive changes on the global stage.

If WB is left to itself, that will be a high price for the Balkans and Europe.

We don’t need the military and civil missions of NATO and Europe from the 1990s. We need a good analysis of WB processes and we need joint action to eliminate these harmful influences as efficiently as possible. With our policy in MNE, that was much easier.

After a change in the government, it will be harder but we should not give up.

cdm.ba / Balkantimes.press

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