PM Đukanović: NATO bombings in 1999 most powerful argument for Montenegro’s accession to alliance

    Podgorica, Montenegro (25 March 2015) – Prime Minister Milo Đuaknović made Tuesday evening a guest appearance on the talk show “Izazov” broadcasted on the Radio and Television of Montenegro (RTCG).

    In his address, PM Đukanović underlined that NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999 is actually the best argument showing that Montenegro should join the Alliance. He said the 24th March sixteen years ago awakens negative emotions as Montenegro became a target for the NATO bombing. Nevertheless, what Montenegro has achieved since could only be considered as a great progress Montenegro should be very proud of, he emphasised.

    Prime Minister Đukanović stressed that in those difficult times, the idea of preserving peace was Montenegro’s national interest which he personally advocated as well. In those days, Montenegro decided not to follow blindly decisions that attempted to be made in Belgrade on behalf of Montenegro, particularly when it comes to the decision on the conflict between NATO and former Yugoslavia.

    Speaking of that important Montenegro’s decision, PM Đukanović underlined that it was the beginning of a new philosophy of life in the country. Throughout its history, Montenegro has experienced the philosophy of cotemporary warfare and philosophy of following interests of other countries with which Montenegro cherished partnership without paying attention to its own interests, PM Đukanović explained. Nowadays, Montenegro has begun to promote a new system of values, a modern Montenegro which follows the cult of responsible commitment to the quality of life instead of the cult of heroic sacrifice, a country committed to work not to war, PM Đukanović highlighted.

    In that regard, Montenegro has begun to think how to create preconditions to live in peace, cherish multiethnic harmony, increase the quality of life and reach full employment, thus allowing the coming generations to have a better life, PM Đukanović pointed out. If Montenegro had not made that kind of decision, it would have been destroyed in only one NATO attack and it would have had never regained independence, PM Đukanović added.

    Since regaining independence, Montenegro has removed a deficit of making decisions outside the country, PM Đuknović stressed. The country is also on the right track to make it possible that Montenegro never again becomes a target for the NATO Alliance, PM Đukanović explained. He added that Montenegro seeks to be side by side with other NATO members when it comes to decision-making procedures.

    There is no stronger argument for Montenegro to become a NATO member state, but the difficult experience in 1999, PM Đukanović highlighted, adding that the country should never again allow being outside the table where decisions concerning Montenegro are being made.

    When it comes to the rule of law, PM Đukanović said that it remains Montenegro’s key challenge at the national level. The rule of law reflects the citizens’ behaviour towards the state, particularly their respect for the Constitution, laws and all other rules established within the countries’ institutions. Everyone in Montenegro advocates the rule of law as long as it doesn’t impinge his/her own interest and, in that regard, everyone is trying to make an exception, but exceptions are unacceptable not only for individuals, but also for the entire state no matter of the size, PM Đukanović emphasised.

    Regarding the public support for NATO membership, PM Đukanović said that there is enough space for improvements, referring particularly to an increased level of support among representatives of political parties in the Parliament.

    Although the voice of the public should be heard when it comes to making strategic decisions, PM Đukanović explained it is not necessary to call a referendum on joining the NATO Alliance. That kind of responsibility should be taken by those who had been given mandate to run the country, PM Đukanović underlined, adding that once Montenegro becomes a NATO member, it will not transfer not even a part of its sovereignty over the NATO headquarters.

    “Demonstration of democracy does not imply calling on referendums every day and monitoring public opinion upon the issues that are vested within my authority, but to make decisions, along with majority opinion in the Parliament, which are in the best interest of Montenegro’s future in a more effective and responsible manner,” PM Đukanović underlined.

    “Monitoring of the public opinion is of highly significant and we should definitely talk to people and convince them it is reasonable to pursue the foreign policy goal. However, when the time comes to make the decision, we should call on the responsibility of those in charge of making decisions crucial for Montenegro’s future”, Prime Minister Đukanović concluded.

    Source: Government of Montenegro