Saturday, January 16, 2010

Montenegro and Kosova establish diplomatic relations

BELGRADE, Jan. 15 -- Montenegro and Kosovo have established diplomatic relations by the exchange of letters between the foreign ministers, Milan Rocen and Skender Hiseni, the Montenegrin government said Friday.

Rocen underscored in the letter to his Kosovo counterpart that he completely shares his opinion that the relations between Montenegro and Kosovo have good perspective.

On the other hand, the representatives of political parties in Serbia assessed on Friday that the Montenegrin government's decision does not contribute to good neighborly relations between Serbia and Montenegro, but that it is not a surprise.

Serbian Radical Party Vice President Dragan Todorovic said that the Montenegrin government's decision to recognize the independence of the southern Serbian province is "their most shameful move."

"Recognizing Kosovo as an independent state is one of the most shameful decisions made in Montenegro and it will remain Milo Djukanovic's most shameful move for centuries to come," Todorovic was quoted as saying by Serbian state news agency Tanjug.

New Serbia whip in the Serbian parliament Velimir Ilic said that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Podgorica and Pristina did not come as a surprise and that it was planned for a long time.

Liberal Democratic Party leader Cedomir Jovanovic said that the establishment of diplomatic relations with Pristina was "the logical consequence" of the decision to recognize Kosovo's independence.

Montenegro gained independence in June 2006 after a historic referendum to break up a union with Serbia, while ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. However, Serbia has vowed it would never recognize Kosovo's independence, regarding the move illegal and in contrary with international law.

Montenegro’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo is one of the major topics in the Serbian press on Saturday.
On Friday Serbia gave Montenegro a demarche over Podgorica’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with Kosovo, Glas Javnosti daily writes.

“The establishment of diplomatic relations between the government of Montenegro and Pristina breaks the regional stability and impedes the development of the good neighborly relations, which is a priority of the Serbian government,” the foreign ministry says.

The newspaper comments that Montenegro’s decision is “a brotherly knife in the back.”


Blic writes that Belgrade has recalled its ambassador in Montenegro, Zoran Lutovac. Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said he will hold consultations with Lutovac in the next days to discuss the recent situation and steps Serbia will take against Montenegro’s decision. The Ministry of Defense announced the Montenegrin defense minister’s visit to Belgrade had been postponed. It was to take place on January 18.


Novosti paid attention to Montenegro’s decision as well. Podgorica turned a deaf ear to Serbia’s call to wait for the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague concerning the legitimacy of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the newspaper writes. The daily cites the leader of the Montenegrin New Serb Democracy Andrija Mandic as saying that the decision is based on the private interests of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and his close associates.

“This is revenge of the organized crime on Serbia, which fights against the criminal groups,” said Mandic.

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