“Russia influences political and social events in Montenegro through the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbia”
In trying to influence Montenegro as much as possible, Russia, above all, wants to reduce the influence of the West and provoke the West and NATO, and for that it has the support of the current government, the longtime journalist and political scientist Ilija Despotovic from Podgorica for our portal.
In an interview with The Geopost, he said that Russia, through the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbia, influences political and social events in Montenegro and wants to strengthen its position towards the West, and that Russian kindness and assistance throughout history, as he put it. , has always been conditioned by the fulfillment of certain military and state needs and interests of Russia.
“When any of the Montenegrin rulers showed their displeasure, they were ‘sanctioned’ by the Russian kingdom,” Despotovic said.
Despotovic added that the “future” of Russian influence in the Balkans, and even in Montenegro, depends on Montenegro’s real European perspective, when Montenegro becomes a member of the European Union.
“Of course, also from the US policy in that context. There is no doubt about the strength of NATO itself, not only in the military sense, but also in terms of its political supremacy as an alliance in the strategic sense. First of all, both NATO and the EU must remove as soon as possible any doubts about their existence and ability to, as a strategic project, policy and way of life, as a modern democracy and civilization, ‘rule’ in Europe and in the world “, said Despotovic..
When it comes to the visit of the Russian ambassador to the University of Montenegro, Despotovic stresses that a person with unmasked pro-Serbian and pro-Russian political affiliation has come to lead the University and the Russian ambassador, according to him, has rushed to personally promote and open “cooperation” between educational institutions.
“Culture is particularly apt for a ‘subtle’ camouflage of propaganda of Russia’s state interests, and, of course, media actions will be used in this sense. There are already media in Montenegro known as pro-Russian. Russian television ‘Sputnik’ is already heard to be the ‘Russian CNN’. It is symptomatic, for example, that the Minister of Culture, Education and Science, Vesna Bratic, visited Russia in the first year of the pro-Serbian-Russian government in Podgorica. The media have noticed that she took part in a debate in Moscow under the flag of Serbia, without the flag of Montenegro,” said Despotovic.
Asked if Montenegro does a lot of damage because it does not export its products to the large Russian market, Despotovic said the issue of mutual economic sanctions between Montenegro and Russia should be seen in the context of general interstate relations and their position in the constellation of international relations.
“Therefore, economic sanctions are relatively reciprocal in their importance. Their character has more of a political taste. A large part of the public in Montenegro does not approve of sanctions against Russia, but this is hardly discussed, except that here and there it is mentioned in parliament as a “sin” of the previous government. The story of the economic damage that Montenegro suffers due to the ban on the export of Montenegrin wines to the Russian market has long since stopped. Montenegro has also exported some processed meat products, but all this does not seem to leave any serious consequences for producers in Montenegro,” Despotovic concluded.