Janusz Bugajski, analyst of Washingtonian Center for European Policy Analysis, spoke to Weekend Edition of Dnevne Novine daily and said that the relations of Montenegro and Moscow would not normalize unless Russia became a democratic country that respects other countries’ choice to join international organizations such as NATO and EU.
Bugajski believes that NATO membership will improve chances for joining EU.
“Montenegro will be seen as a safer country. This should encourage the government and the parliament to intensify their work on closing the remaining chapters”, Bugajski said.
He added that NATO membership is set to increase foreign investments, as business requires stability and predictability. He believes Montenegro will serve as an example to its neighbours, especially Serbia.
“Montenegro can serve as a model and encouragement for other countries in negotiations with NATO, and it could help them in this process. Montenegro membership could encourage Serbia to make the same decision as well, as to avoid Moscow manipulations”, Bugajski added.
Regarding new tensions in Montenegro, Bugajski said that there are elements of the opposition that would deny its independence as well as the new NATO membership. He believes Russian regime “probably sponsors and helps such movements in order to destabilize the country”.
Speaking on the future relations of two countries, Bugajski said that normalization can be expected once Russia becomes a democratic country that respects other countries’ decisions.
“For the perceivable future, Kremlin will continue using diplomatic, political, economic, criminal and informational tools to attempt to discredit Montenegrin leadership. It is of national interest of Montenegro to help NATO fighting Russian influence, not only in Balkans, but in Europe as well”, he concluded.