Rocen: We did not expect Russia to applaud our decision

#MilanRoćen #Nato #Russia #NatoMembership

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The way in which we restored the state independence and created conditions to decide on our future is the alpha and omega of our success, said chief political advisor to prime minister and former foreign minister Milan Rocen at the Faculty of Political Sciences yesterday. He expressed the belief that this was exactly the time which would be called the golden age of Montenegrin diplomacy.

During a presentation on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the restoration of independence, Rocen called in mind the words of former US presidential candidate, congressman John McCain, who said that the Montenegrin referendum was “perhaps the greatest democratic project in Europe since the end of the Cold War”.

“Not even the greatest optimists among us could imagine in 2006 that Montenegro would be at the brink of NATO in only 10 years. Within less than a month after the accession protocol was signed at ministerial summit in Brussels on 19 May, it has been ratified by four member states. At the end of this month, on 29 June, it will be four years since we opened negotiations with the European Union at the first intergovernmental conference”, he said.

Rocen added that out of total of 35 chapters, Montenegro had opened 22, with a good perspective of opening new chapters soon.

“I believe by the end of this month, when the Dutch presidency ends, we will open two very important chapters 12 and 13 – food safety and fisheries”, Rocen said.

He pointed out that the policy of good neighbourly relations was a priority, adding that “regional cooperation is the basis for the successes we achieved in the integration process”.

“The obligation of Montenegrin diplomacy, government policy and the entire Montenegrin society is to continue the course that we are currently on and to find a formula for full membership of Montenegro in NATO and the European Union”, he said.

Support for NATO

Answering the students’ question, Rocen said that public support for NATO membership was growing.

“According to the latest survey, after the signing of the accession protocol, almost 53% of citizens believe that this is a done deal. When you ask those who are against the membership if Montenegro will join the alliance, a huge percentage of people believe it will”, he said.

Rocen pointed out that the aim was to “make as many people as possible understand the benefits of membership of a small but prosperous Balkan country in the NATO alliance”.

Commenting on the fact that there are 14.6% of undecided citizens in Montenegro, Rocen said that a “part of the existing scepticism represented a reflection internal political relations in Montenegro”.

He said that he believed Montenegro would be a respected member of NATO and the European Union and a developed economy in ten years.

“I expect a lot from the Berlin process, which is primarily oriented towards regional integration, and then to Europe. I believe that the energy and infrastructure connections would lead to accelerating the growth of our economy, better interpersonal relationships, better use of resources and involvement in big European market”, Rocen said.

There will be problems with Russia

Asked whether he expected Russia’s response to Montenegro’s accession to NATO, Rocen said he was sure there would be no major problems, regardless of the fact that certain entities wanted to abuse Moscow’s position due to internal political reasons.

“We did not expect Russia to applaud our decision to become a member of NATO. Developments at the global level have helped Moscow’s attitude on Montenegro’s membership in NATO to be better heard,” Rocen said.

He added that Russia was traditionally friendly country and that both Moscow and Montenegro had their own interests.

“I am convinced that the things are going in the right direction. Russia is a country that has excellent relations with many NATO member states”, he said.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro