Djukanovic has a new plan to neutralize Serbia?
After the "Kosovo issue" in Serbia, two decades later, it could be Montenegro's turn where the United States would "operate" to calm tensions, the media write.Source: Blic
Whether that will really happen is unknown for now, but these days, there are suggestions for just that - for America to be more engaged in Montenegro. According to Blic, they come from former American diplomats who, in addition to that idea, warn of "Serbian nationalism in the country", but also of Moscow's attempts to "use it to destabilize the Balkans".
According to Blic, the idea for "US interference" came from former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker and Daniel Fried, former US Assistant Secretary of State, but for now no one can claim whether they presented the idea as their own, or it is again just a "test balloon".
Given what has been happening in Montenegro over the past year, and especially the last ten days with the culmination of the enthronement of Metropolitan Joanikije, and pointing the finger at Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church as the culprits for the Sunday riots, it is quite legitimate to ask whether this is part of a bigger plan whose main "player" could become America, states Blic.
Kurt Volker says that he was disappointed with the scenes from Cetinje, and adds that "Serbian authorities and the Serbian Orthodox Church should pay a little more attention to the general mood in Montenegro." However, that is only a part of his story, within which he also talks about the path to Serbia and Russia and "dark, Balkan Serbian nationalism".
"Yes, of course, the Montenegrin people were tired after 30 years of the same party in power. However, that does not mean that they chose a path far from Europe and NATO, in favor of Russia and Serbia," Volker, currently an associate of the Washington Center for European Policy Analysis and a former special envoy for Ukraine in Trump administration told Voice of America.
He also says that Montenegro has a "multiethnic and multi-confessional character", and that he hopes that "it will not be lost due to the pressure of Serbian nationalism and the opposition of Montenegrins to maintain their independence".
Daniel Fried, now an associate of the American Atlantic Council, warns of Moscow's political agenda, which, as he estimates, "wants divisions and conflict and uses Serbian nationalism to destabilize the Balkans and prevent it from joining Europe."
"They want countries to be in chaos, poor and out of Europe, so that Moscow can control them more easily. These are the Kremlin's methods under Vladimir Putin. The challenge for Serbia is to decide what it wants to be: an instrument of Russia's imperialist ambitions or a country that is part of Europe", he assessed.
Is that realistic?
These are the reasons why the two of them believe that the events in Montenegro require America to be more engaged and impartially involved in the dialogue on the future of Montenegro. They also emphasize the fear that "the Government of Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church are connected with their Russian colleagues - the government of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church."
However, how realistic is American engagement in the United States? Blic's interlocutors say that it is unlikely, and they see these sporadic ideas as attempts of Montenegrin president to try to regain the lost power.
"It seems to me that the United States will avoid any interference, and that coincides with Biden's announcement that such things will be done in the future. The situation in Montenegro is not like that at the moment, nor has it escalated terribly to include the United States or anyone else" , says the director of the Center for Regionalism, Alexander Popov, who adds that America has no reason for that.
He adds that Montenegro has bigger problems with its ruling majority than with Milo Djukanovic's DPS, and points out that neither the Montenegrin government nor the opposition is interested in new elections.
Srdjan Vukadinovic, a political sociologist from Montenegro, also believes that the Montenegrin president is trying to make a "link" with Biden. Because, as he says, if it was Trump, that would not have happened, "because his administration left him on the lurch."
"Now, with the new administration, he saw a chance to try something, maybe win the election, and thus regain some of the power he had, which is unlikely. The first contacts he had after the election of the new administration were directed at Biden. He is trying to save himself, to regain what's possible", says Vukadinović.
He adds that even if there are elections in Montenegro, no one is ready for them. He says that the United States has an interest only because of NATO to eventually intervene, but considering that there are no serious conflicts in Montenegro like in the 1990s, "they simply do not have reason for that".
"There is no force to support conflicts, no escalation, something sporadically happens, but not so big as to consider any foreign involvement. If, say, Russia reached the Adriatic, it would probably mean engagement, but since that is not the case, and Montenegro is also a member of NATO, then there is no such fear either", Vukadinović concluded.