International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Montenegro’s foreign minister rejects claims that Serbs are oppressed there

July 19, 2021

Montenegro's Foreign Minister Djordje Radulovic on Monday rejected claims by Serbia's officials of alleged oppression of ethnic Serbs in Montenegro.

Minister Radulovic “sent a message to Belgrade” saying that “those ethnic Serbs who behave as loyal Montenegrin citizens are fully respected and enjoy equal rights, and only Montenegro can be their mother country and not Serbia, like some officials in Belgrade are trying to portray,” Croatian state agency Hina reported.

Any other approach, he underscored, is “unacceptable and is questionable with regard to political ethics.”

“That means that all our citizens who declare themselves as Serbs, do not have any other country as their mother country except the one we all have and that is Montenegro. Its government and institutions are the only address for them. Our country does not wish to renounce anyone’s rights, let alone 30 percent of Serbs who are an indispensable foundation of our country,” Radulovic said in a press release.

Serbia’s officials, led by President Aleksandar Vucic, have recently begun to frequently underline their care for their people in neighbouring countries who declare themselves as Serbs whereas Serbia’s Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin  has publicly spoken about the idea of a “Serb world” which for him, as he said, is a “single country, united, but peacefully without one shot fired.”

Statements like this have come across sharp reactions by the opposition in Montenegro with the leader of the Social Democrats, saying that the idea of a “Serb world” is a criminal Great Serbia policy which resulted in the greatest suffering after WWII and now, it wants to once again “burn and plunder in the region.”

Relations between Belgrade and Podgorica have become particularly tense since a Resolution on Srebrenica was adopted in Montenegro’s parliament, condemning the genocide that was perpetrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even though the resolution clearly notes that nations cannot be condemned for the genocide but individuals, Serbia’s officials have accused Montenegro of calling Serbs a genocidal people.

According to an assessment by the Digital-Forensics Centre NGO, in the first seven days after the resolution was adopted in Montenegro’s parliament, one and a half thousand negative comments and articles about Montetengro and its leaders appeared in Serbia’s media outlets.

Some Montenegrin lawmakers who supported the resolution have been hassled at the border with Serbia, where they were kept for several hours and searched.

Turkovic: Vulin’s statement proof Serbia is a threat to stability in Bosnia and the region

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said on Monday that the statement by Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin in which he openly called for the unification of all Serbs was disturbing and dangerous, adding that she would notify the international community.

Turkovic called on Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to distance himself from his minister’s statement.

“If he fails to do so, this will only prove that his policy and the official policy of Serbia is aimed at undermining the Dayton peace agreement and annexing parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia,” the Bosnian foreign minister said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/montenegros-foreign-minister-rejects-claims-that-serbs-are-oppressed-there/

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