Montenegro Won’t Let Its EU, NATO Path Reversed, Đukanović Says
By Gordana Filipović
(Bloomberg) — Montenegro won’t allow growing civil unrest that has led to street protests to stall the former Yugoslav Republic’s drive to join the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Prime Minister Premier Milo Đukanović said.
The smallest former member of defunct Yugoslavia, which has opened 20 of 33 chapters under its EU accession talks, expects to open all remaining ones in 2016, the year of parliamentary elections. The talks take place as opposition pressure the premier to step down and police used tear gas to quell demonstrations in the capital Podgorica.
Đukanović has “faith” in his policies and is ready to fight for them “just like I’ve done over the past 20 years,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Becici, Montenegro. Deviation from the path, defined in 2006 when the country declared independence, is impossible and “it’s strategically important that we do not spoil anything in the next couple of months.”
Opposition protests are “the last attempt inside Montenegro and outside Montenegro to prevent its NATO membership and further NATO expansion” to the Western Balkans, he said, adding that he believes Serbian nationalist parties and Russia have supported the protests.
Source: Government of Montenegro