12:05 GMT30 November 2020
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    Sputnik spoke to John Laughland, Director of Studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, about the NATO referendum in Montenegro. He said that the referendum could be rigged just as the one for independence.

    The Parliament of Montenegro has approved a resolution in support of the country’s membership in NATO. Fifty out of 79 MPs voted in favor of joining the Alliance with only 26 politicians opposing the initiative.

    According to the resolution, NATO would become a guarantor of Montenegro’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. It would also reinforce democracy and enhance living standards in the country.

    Earlier in June, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Montenegro would benefit greatly, if it joins the Alliance.

    However, some experts within the country doubt that the government's initiative is viable for the country. The opposition has already suggested holding a nationwide referendum to let people decide whether they want to join NATO or not.

    “I doubt that NATO membership is popular in Montenegro. The thing about Montenegro is if it joins NATO it will become the first NATO member state to have been bombed by NATO. Let’s not forget that in 1999, when NATO launched its illegal war against Yugoslavia, a bombing campaign took place there that lasted for 74 days and Montenegro was at that time still a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A lot of people in Montenegro remember this and I very much doubt whether there is a big deal of public support for this,” Laughland told Sputnik.

    He went on to say that Montenegro is a corrupt country and elections there are rigged. “There is a strong suspicion that the independence referendum that goes back nearly ten years was itself rigged. I could expect the same thing again if it was necessary and if the referendum was held on NATO.”

    “NATO enlargement benefits NATO it doesn’t benefit the countries in question. Their political leaders get to sit on top a table and therefore feel important. Montenegro has a small army and the goal here is not to help Montenegro but to expand NATO.”

    He further said that the EU and NATO need to nourish their illusion that more and more countries want to join them in order to continue convincing themselves that they are an attractive force.

    “Montenegro has had one man in power for over 20 years now. The current Prime Minister of Montenegro has been the head of the Government of Montenegro since 1991.

    Milo Djukanovic has controlled Montenegro for more than twenty years now. The idea that this country is a democracy is a sick joke,” Laughland said.

    It is a classic example of a double standard.

    Related:

    Montenegro Parliament Approves Resolution to Enter NATO
    US Prepared to Invite Montenegro in NATO in December - White House
    Anti-Russian Sanctions Economically, Politically Harmful for Montenegro
    Poland 'Dreams' of Montenegro Joining NATO at 2016 Warsaw Summit
    Tags:
    European Union, NATO, Corruption, NATO membership, referendum, national interests, sovereignty, Milo Djukanovic, Jens Stoltenberg, Montenegro
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