How Do Pro-Russian Forces Affect Montenegrin Government?

How Do Pro-Russian Forces Affect Montenegrin Government?
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It took Montenegro five months to form a majority and appoint a new government after the snap parliamentary elections.

Perhaps the coalition would have lasted longer, but the country would have to hold another snap election after a certain deadline.

In the end, the pro-European movement Europe Now partnered with Serbian parties to form a coalition. However, they promised to adhere to a pro-Western course and work towards Montenegro’s EU accession.

Can such promises be trusted? Will they lead to a reversal of Montenegro’s foreign policy? Read more in the article by Balkan Observer’s journalist and editor, Natalia Ishchenko – Pro-Western “Friends of Putin”: why EU and US are concerned about new government of Montenegro.

After a discussion that lasted for over seven hours, starting on the evening of 30 October at around 11:30 p.m., Montenegro’s parliament elected the new government.

The new Prime Minister is Milojko Spaić, the leader of the pro-European movement Europe Now (PES) and the Minister of Finance and Social Welfare in the previous cabinet.

The new Prime Minister has announced his priority to accelerate Montenegro’s EU accession.

However, anti-NATO, pro-Serbian, and pro-Russian sentiments at the highest levels of the new Montenegrin government will still be there.

For example, the Deputy Prime Minister for Demography and Youth and the Minister of Sports and Youth, Dragoslav Šćekić, the Vice President of the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro, officially unveiled a monument to Soviet Marshal Zhukov in Berane in 2020 when he was its mayor. The Russian Federation’s ambassador to Montenegro, Vladislav Maslenikov, participated in the ceremony since the monument was erected with the support of the Russian embassy.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is even more outstanding – academician Filip Ivanović opposed Montenegro’s NATO membership.

Another NATO opponent is the Minister of Justice, Andrej Milović.

The most remarkable “anti-NATO, pro-Serbian, pro-Russian” parliamentary group is the newly elected Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Andrija Mandić.

This politician is already familiar to readers of European Pravda. We will only remind you that in 2016, Mandić was accused of attempting a state coup on the parliamentary elections day. According to the investigation, the coup was organised by agents of Russian special services.

Together with Milan Knežević, his current partner in the bloc For the Future of Montenegro, Mandić was sentenced to five years in prison in 2019.

However, the verdict was overturned by the Appellate Court after a change of government in 2020.

The reexamination of the case formally continues to this day.

So, what can we expect from the controversial representatives of the new Montenegrin government? A return to the “roots” or a final “rebranding”?

For now, the West demonstrates faith that “everything will be fine” in Montenegro, although there is a sense of concern.

The new Montenegrin authorities, in the meantime, assure their commitment to peace and goodwill. “We all need to do good deeds. I want reconciliation and only reconciliation,” Mandić said after being elected the Speaker. “We must start trusting each other.”

However, the new government’s trust is denied by the new opposition and a significant part of Montenegrin society.

There are grounds for such suspicions, and they are substantial.

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