Srdjan Darmanovic, the Montenegrin ambassador to Washington, was instructed to send a letter to the editor-in-chief of the magazine, to express dismay and present the real face of Montenegro, Milan Rocen, Montenegro’s foreign minister, said on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs published an article, written by Moises Naim, which describes Montenegro as a “mafia state“, alongside Bulgaria, Venezuela, Guinea-Bissau, Ukraine and Myanmar.
“In mafia states, government officials enrich themselves and their families and friends while exploiting the money, muscle, political influence, and global connections of criminal syndicates to cement and expand their own power,” reads the article’s summary.
Naim's piece caused intense reaction in the local media, and the debate over it even reached the parliament.
“Montenegro is mentioned only once in seven pages, when the states are listed, and for all other states there are broad explanations as to why they are on the list”, Rocen said, answering the remarks of an opposition MP, claiming that it is inaccurate to call Montenegro a “mafia state”.
The ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, has frequently accused the opposition, certain NGOs and domestic media of projecting a bad image of Montenegro abroad.
“If Montenegro was a criminal state, it would not be at the threshold of EU and NATOmembership,“ Caslav Vesovic, a spokesman for the DPS, stated earlier this month, following the publication of the article.
Vesovic said that by using each and every opportunity to characterize Montenegro as a criminal state, the opposition and some parts of civil society “can sometimes influence the objectivity of certain international non-governmental associations, with regard to the progress of our country in comprehensive social reform“.