The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dusko Markovic and the other big politicians of the country, speaking for its entry into NATO, was denied entry to Russia, told the Montenegrin media. However, the head of government of the Balkan Republic Markovic nothing about this decision doesn’t know, and the Kremlin has refrained from comments on this occasion. But even if the news on the “black list” of Moscow will be a “duck”, the facts are obvious – the plans of the authorities of Montenegro with regards to the country’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance cause extreme dissatisfaction with the Russian leadership. What was the reason of the strained relations between the two countries and why NATO membership is so important for Montenegrin politicians? This “MK” talked with an expert.
– As for the painful reaction of Russia to NATO steps Montenegro, in my opinion, it is not so much about it (it’s worth noting that the issue of joining the North Atlantic Alliance has actually been resolved), but about the General crisis in bilateral relations, – noted in conversation with “MK” senior researcher, head of sector of European studies, IMEMO Russian Academy of Sciences Yuri KVASHNIN. Is the statements made by Montenegrin politicians about the attempts of Moscow’s interference in the internal Affairs of Montenegro, the subsequent mutual controversy. All this has led to a serious crisis of confidence. And it’s all that matters, not the process of joining NATO.
– Why the Montenegrin authorities are actively seeking in the Alliance?
– Montenegro, in principle, have embarked on integration into the European Union, NATO, Euro-Atlantic structures. This course is fairly consistent. In addition, the Montenegrin leadership is sufficiently specific, the same people in fact are in power there for many years, which is not too good agreement with the prevailing EU ideas about the change of power. Thus, the policy of Montenegro show both the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance its, shall we say, utility. That is installed polutorafuntovaja system, but the country struggles to the West, limits the possibilities of cooperation with Russia, joins the anti-Russian sanctions. Let me remind you that, for example, Serbia restrictions are not supported, although also aimed at EU accession.
In addition, Montenegro is not the most pleasant of the geopolitical environment. This, of course, is not about Russia, but about such countries as partially recognized Kosovo, Albania… It’s a challenge, because in Montenegro there is quite a large Albanian Diaspora, are not always calm, there’s ethnic strife, though not as sharp as, for example, in Macedonia. And entry into Euro-Atlantic structures against this background, it becomes a kind of guarantee that nothing wrong in the inner life, in inter-ethnic relations in Montenegro is not going to happen. It is a safeguard, a guarantee that no say, the idea of “greater Albania” – largely, of course, the future implementation of this concept is exaggerated, but the fears on this account in the Montenegrin society is, – will not affect the country. This is the real reason for NATO membership, which is valid in the case of Macedonia.
– You talked about the crisis of confidence between Russia and Montenegro, and whether there are preconditions to overcome it?
– I think the background is. But they are not so much political as economic. The Russian capital is actively present in Montenegro, primarily in real estate; there in a large number of tourists from Russia… Economic cooperation with our country for Montenegro is extremely important, because this country cannot rely solely on the EU. Moreover, any country trying to navigate in the economic sphere only in the EU, in the long run loses.
Because the most successful States – those that are able to diversify external trade and investment flows. With more and more countries understand that. And I think ultimately this factor will prevail, that is, economic relations, down to the lowest point, begins to rise – and behind them, probably, and political. Yes, now the relationship is bad, but we remember, for example, the situation between Russia and Turkey when they were at zero. Now the Russian-Turkish economic relations on the rise. Do not rule out that same – and in the foreseeable future will occur, and between Russia and Montenegro.