Podgorica continues accusing Moscow of involvement in the riots in the capital of Montenegro. This time Podgorica is indignant at a comment by the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The diplomatic structure expressed its “deep bewilderment” about “groundless statements” by the Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, who accused Russia of provoking the protests in Podgorica and supporting clashes between opposition forces and the police. “Milo Đukanović hasn’t presented any instance of Russia’s involvement in stirring up social tension in Montenegro. His goal is obvious: he is trying to absolve himself of responsibility for the growing conflict in Montenegro, even though the real reason for it is clear. The politician is ignoring the opinion of a large section of Montenegrin society,” the Russian Foreign Ministry states.
Russian diplomats cannot believe that “an official who has been in power for so long doesn’t realize the reasons for the growing tension in his own country.” “Of course he understands everything,” Russian diplomats say. “Moreover, he realizes why he has to repeat absurd statements that only membership in NATO can provide the sovereignty of Montenegro. Milo Đukanović is an experienced politician who has many times changed his preferences not due to the people’s demands, but due to an external situation in favor of his prosperity.”
As for Russia, the Foreign Ministry is really concerned “not about a choice which the Montenegrin people should make freely, but about the excessive use of force by the Podgorica authorities against peaceful demonstrators.”
Podgorica is indignant at the fact that Moscow has expressed concern about an excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, but hasn’t mentioned that “these peaceful demonstrators threw cocktail bombs at the police, trying to break into the parliament’s building and carry out an overthrow.”
Sergey Panteleyev, director of the Institute of Russians Abroad, thinks that the events in Montenegro are caused by another attempt to extend NATO. “Đukanović has accused Russia of orchestrating the riots. Clearly, this technology that we are witnessing today was applied in the Ukraine, when Russia was accused of aggression and unleashing all kinds of bad things. That is, this is a kind of technology that is applied consistently to demonize Russia's image among those nations that are attracted to us and in the Western community in generally.
The factor of NATO is very important from this point of view, including those tragic events that we saw on Saturday. But this whole social protest is not merely a part of the NATO project. In fact, the base is much more complex, is much wider. These mass protests are due to the fact that a corrupt regime has been in power for 25 years, and people are not satisfied with it.”
The expert thinks that double standards are used in coverage of the situation in Montenegro: “An authoritarian regime is supported shamelessly by the West when it performs all of the settings, so they are quite satisfied. For example, as we see with Đukanović, they are very keen to show Russia as an aggressor, which interferes with you wherever you go, and thus, it is a Maidan in reverse. That is, they are trying to show that Russia, having made a mistake in Ukraine, now uses the same technology as the Americans.”
Sergey Panteleyev points out the topic in the Russian media: “It seems outwardly cool – we are so great, we have such opportunities. This is a big misconception. This is precisely the trap into which we have been caught. This is America that removes unwanted regimes. The strength of Russia lies in the fact that we support sovereignty, we support real democracy. The elements of retracting to NATO in the EU are an attempt to seize the sovereignty of these states. I think that in terms of information work, I am not even afraid of the word advocacy, it should be taken into account.”