October 25, 2008
Most of you heard that Montenegro (together with Macedonia) recognized independence of Kosovo. Montenegro has actually, just one day before recognition, supported Serbia in the UN security council, in order to reconsider Kosovo issue in front of the International Court of Justice. By doing this, Montenegro supported its “ex-big brother” Serbia, and yet, just one day after, pleased the new Big Brothers (EU, USA…) by recognizing Kosovo. One could say – “that’s really good way to do diplomacy!”. But, on Monday, October 13th 2008, pro-serbian opposition in Montenegro organized protests and several thousands people gathered in front of Montenegro Parliament to protest the decision of Montenegrin Government. At the end of protests, a group of young people provoked a clash with a police and that’s how a little chaos was created that evening in the capital of Montenegro – Podgorica. Of course, it is hard to tell who organized and/or planned the clashes, since both – opposition and the ruling regime could have the reason to do it. Therefore, Montenegrin police didn’t allow any new protests and that is how story finishes.
But what is beyond? Why did Montenegro rush to recognize Kosovo, even if only 48 states have done this before it, and majority still didn’t? Now, relations with Serbia are at the worst level (Montenegrin Ambassador in Serbia was expelled from Belgrade), while several cases of damaged cars with Montenegrin license plates in Serbia were reported. Also, media and public anger against Montenegrins is much bigger than the times when Montenegro became independent from federation with Serbia. But all this is irrelevant, because it is not the first time that Serbia doesn’t like Montenegro’s decision. What fascinates is Montenegrin argument that recognition of Kosovo was necessary for the continuation of the road towards EU. The government denied that E.U. or U.S.A. were making any pressure to make this decision, but it was obvious that the whole thing was done in a very strange way.
1) Kosovo is independent and Serbia is aware that this region is lost forever. Therefore, any other actions, in order to “preserve Kosovo’s status” are just part of political games of Serbian establishment, which is trying to “justify” itself in front of the voters who may accuse them of “selling” Kosovo.
2) Montenegro, as well as other countries in the region, would anyway have to recongnize Kosovo, sooner or later, because it is the neighbour state, de-facto independent, so there is no big deal about it.
Many analysts believe that the key role in Montenegrin decision to recognize Kosovo is a mutual benefit of the EU and Montenegrin government itself. EU constantly “plays” with the region, by conditioning countries to do this or that, in order to go “faster” on the EU track. Now, it was necessary to fastly settle down the Kosovo issue and the help from “neighbouring countries” was needed. In Montenegrin case, the essence of this “political trade” is obvious for the citizens. Thanks to this “important decision”, country will perhaps run faster towards European Union, but some of the major problems will remain. Corruption and crime are considered widespread problem in the region, but Montenegro is becoming quite famous for it. Hmm…maybe people still believe that the day Montenegro enters the EU, all problems will be gone… Well, people or Montenegrin government may continue to believe in that, but EU certanly mustn’t.montenegro