This article originally appeared at IN4S translated by Stevo Marjanović exclusively for SouthFront
„Protests organised by the Democratic Front have started to fear and complexes in Montenegro. I said to Sanda Rašković-Ivković to place a picture of Milo Đukanović above her work desk, because he raised the reputation of Democratic Party, by making him patron of developments in Montenegro“, said dr. Dušan Proroković, political analyst, director of the Centre for Strategic Alternatives and president of the Political Council of the Democratic Party of Serbia, in an interview for IN4S.
Our interlocutor believes that after the campaign for Montenegro’s entrance in NATO, huge funds that were invested, and various mechanisms that can be used to improve the “results”, it is clear that there is no majority in Montenegro that supports the eventual NATO membership.
“This is a big defeat, not just for the government, but for the policy that has been present in Montenegro for the last decade, and whose goal was NATO membership. Because of this they recognized Kosovo and sanctioned Russia. On the other side, NATO membership is important question, so it has to be asked at the referendum”, Proroković said, noting that many things will be clearer after the Andrija Mandić’s letter to NATO ambassadors.
Mister Proroković, are you following the Democratic Front’s protests in Montenegro, and how are you looking at the demands of this political alliance, such as the formation of transitional Government, that would prepare requirements for having a fair elections next year?
I’m in contact with my friends from Podgorica, I’m following protests, although during the autumn, because of my work, I spend more time abroad, then I spend in Serbia. I signed a letter in which the public figures urged our government to pay more attention to events in Podgorica. I don’t see anything disputable with peace protests, it is a legitimate democratic right.
Also, I want to point out two things regarding the protests. Firstly, entire Europe is in turmoil. European countries have problems with their systems, some of them are completely paralyzed in political and in economical sense. Perhaps this is mostly true for the eastern part of the continent. Mold that has been promoted as a right combination in the last 25 years is not having any results. EU membership, but before that NATO membership, accepting all western values, from liberalization of the market to gay parade, stories about Copenhagen’s criteria and euro-integrations are not solving problems.
Quite the contrary, accepting everything coming from Brussels is only creating new problems. European countries must define new development paradigms, reform their own political and economical systems, place themselves on a completely different way geopolitically speaking. This can be seen in the Viktor Orbans decisions in Hungary and Robert Ficos in Slovakia, as well as the recent presidential elections in Poland. The path the ex-Yugoslavian states are taking is not the path of solution but rather the path of problems. In this political system there is no development and because of this we have protests.
In Democratic Front’s protests the bar has been highly set. Regimes that are lasting for long, usually after some time start to rely on the citizen’s fear, rather than the legitimacy. If I were organizer of these protests, I would mostly focus on the third demand – to have fair elections, and how will we get to this point is another story.
It is very important for Montenegro, but also for Serbia, to solve everything peacefully.
Socialist People’s Party is supporting these protests, as well as Bosniak’s Democratic Union, one part of the independent politicians, intellectuals and numerous non-governmental organizations. Government in Montenegro thinks that Serbia’s Democratic Party, as well as Dveri, Third Serbia and few other right-wing parties as the ones responsible for this. This is because they openly supported the demands of Democratic Front. Also, regime’s media marked Vladimir Dobrosavljević , assistant of Andrija Mandić as a foreigner with “special assignment”. Your comments?
I sent SMS message to Sanda Rašković-Ivić in which I told her to hang a picture of Milo Đukanović above her work desk. From Wikileaks sources, but also from numerous stories that can be heard in Belgrade, it is clear that from 2008, ever since the overthrow of Vojislav Koštunica, two large countries agreed to bury Democratic Party of Serbia.
That’s the price Democratic Party had to pay for its opposition to West since 2006. Democratic Party had chances to defend itself, but that is another story. Because of relationship of some Western powers, access to media was simply banned for Democratic Party. Because of this Democratic Party is in big trouble, forced to rely on alternative media so that it could be represented to the voters.
And then Milo Đukanović, with his statement brought back Democratic Party in central media. And he even created impression that Vlada Dobrosavljević is some kind of Serbian Che Guevara, whose task is to overthrow regime in Podgorica. No one was hoping for this, but this improved the rating of Democratic Party.”
The authorities in Belgrade are not saying anything about the protest in Montenegro, despite the fact that in the most difficult position are the Serb,due to the discrimination, and the only Serbian parliamentary party (New Serbian Democracy) is also the strongest constituent of the Democratic Front as organizers. What do you think about this?
You can’t expect anything more from authorities in Belgrade. On the one hand, I think that the political parties in Serbia have learned the lessons of the past two decades and will look to maintain good relations with any government in Podgorica. The other story is whether the Serbian government will simultaneously work with other parties in Montenegro. Serbia’s strategic interest is to have good relations with Montenegro and therefore a lot of things will be tolerated by the Belgrade.
On the other hand, it appears that the authorities in Serbia are afraid of the possible protests. As I said before, all of Europe is in turmoil, and sooner or later this can lead to the organization of mass protests in Belgrade. Protests about what? There are many on why this can happen. It is likely that Aleksandar Vučič is thinking on calling early elections and therefore to release the accumulated dissatisfaction among the people. Otherwise, there was a certain distance towards the protests in Podgorica. It’s not only the case with the authorities. Basically they said, let’s see what are their goals, and we will then decide accordingly. You know, the Serbs had one 5th October and that is enough for them. I think that many things will be clearer after the letter of Andrija Mandić to NATO ambassadors.
The authorities in Podgorica believe that Montenegro ready to enter NATO. On Wednesday and Thursday (14 and 15 October), in Podgorica will stay secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and Prime Minister Đukanović believes that the invitation to join the Alliance will be announced until the end of the year. The regime decided to join the Alliance through parliament rather than through referendum, even though all the polls, including the regime polls, are saying that the overwhelming majority of citizens are against NATO membership. Protests against the arrival of Stoltenberg have been announced. What is your comment on that?
Stoltenberg is coming, but he disgraced himself during the recent months regarding the Ukraine and Syria and showed that he knows how to fail in his estimates. If these were other times, when NATO was far more serious and more organized, arrival of secretary general to some country would mean that the job is completed. However, it could be heard from multiple sources that some NATO member states are still not willing to accept Montenegro, primarily because Russia opposes further expansion of NATO. Europe cannot do anything without Russia and the current EU position towards Moscow is unsustainable in the long run. Now, in the EU and NATO there are two camps, “war camp” and “peace camp”, that have different views on Russia.
“War camp” not only insists to speed up admission of the Balkan states in NATO, but to open a new front against Russia in Moldova. Stoltenberg arrival is important for the authorities in Montenegro, but it is equally important to exercise pressure on the new “peace camp” in NATO. As Montenegro is concerned, everything currently going on only shows the weakness of the Montenegrin authorities. After this campaign, huge funds that were invested, and various mechanisms that can be used to improve the “results”, it is clear that there is no majority in Montenegro that supports the eventual NATO membership.
This is a big defeat, not just for the government, but for the policy that has been present in Montenegro for the last decade, and whose goal was NATO membership. Because of this they recognized Kosovo and sanctioned Russia. On the other side, NATO membership is important question, so it has to be asked at the referendum.
Referendum was organized in some other countries where the people wasn’t so sharply divided. The smart thing would be to put off that thing, prolong everything and find an honorable way out of this situation. Another polarization in Montenegro will not reflect well on the country’s stability. Montenegro is too small for so many divisions and disagreements. Unfortunately, in such circumstances, others that do not care about Montenegro are making profit. Although, ever since the campaign for NATO membership began I have been asking myself: why does Milo Đukanović is so interested to bring Montenegro into NATO? After that, the West will no longer need him. It is the last job he can do for them. I guess the next months will give me an answer to that question.