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    Anti-NATO demonstrators hold a banner during a protest outside the hall before the parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017

    Montenegro: Ratification of NATO Treaty 'Goes Against the Will of People'

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    The ratification of Montenegro’s NATO membership by a parliamentary vote instead of a referendum is a violation of democratic norms, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Marko Milacic, executive director of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro.

    Marco Milacic described the ratification as one of the most shameful decisions in the country’s modern history.

    “This decision goes against the will of the majority of the Montenegrin people. While 84 percent of our people want a referendum on the country’s participation in NATO and this decision, the authorities and the parliament, which is totally illegal because there is no opposition there, decide on this,” he said.

    “I think that this is a short-term decision by a small group of people, a criminal regime that hasn’t changed for almost three decades. This is a tremendous manipulation by people who are deeply rooted in crime,” Milacic added.

    When asked about the level of anti-NATO sentiment in Montenegro almost 20 years after the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, Marko Milacic said that this sentiment was “very strong,” but that the government, which he described as “a puppet of Washington and NATO,” ignores this and keeps telling people that NATO is a guarantor of a safe future for the country.

    “In fact, it only ensures safe future for this small clique of criminals now in power, for their families and businesses,” Milacic emphasized.

    Speaking about Montenegro being part of NATO’s plan to control the Adriatic Sea region now that other Adriatic nations like Albania, Croatia and Italy are already in the alliance, Milacic said that in his opinion, NATO wanted Montenegro in as punishment for Russia, as a signal to Moscow that it is now in control of Russia’s zone of influence.

    “The other reason is that NATO wants to put its flag on a 200 km stretch of the Adriatic coast which is not yet under their control,” Milacic said. He added that this could also cause “a militarization of neutral Serbia,” which is the biggest country in the Balkans, and “sow anti-Russia hysteria here.”

    On Friday, Montenegrin MPs voted 46-0 for the Balkan country to join NATO. Opposition lawmakers, who account for almost half of the 81-seat legislature, boycotted the parliamentary session.

    Russia believes that Montenegro’s accession to NATO will undermine stability in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe.

     

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    Tags:
    short-term decision, accession treaty, ratification, protests, Montenegrin parliament, NATO, Marko Milacic, Montenegro
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