However, many political analysts go even further - they argue that the recent events in Podgorica show the whole world the true nature of the Montenegrin political regime. “Several opposition journalists were beaten up, including Goyko Raichevich, a well-known journalist in Montenegro, leading opposition portal IN4С, according to preliminary information, he is in a coma. Liberalism has disappeared - the regime has shown a true authoritarian face, ”says Nikita Bondarev, head of the Balkan Studies Group at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies at RISS (Quoted from: http://ria.ru/world/20151019/1304529968.html).
Recall that Montenegro, unlike Serbia, even before the collapse of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was considered by the West as a “bulwark of democracy” in the Serbian world. Everyone understands what this means - the regime in Montenegro is pro-American in nature and acts in the interests of the United States in the Balkans. That is why Montenegro says goodbye to what other countries receive the inevitable stigma of authoritarian regimes. Actually, the whole history of modern independent Montenegro is a story of the opposition of American interests to the common sense and genuine needs of the Montenegrins. To begin with, in the 1992 year, at the referendum held on March 1, 95,96% of Montenegrins voted for Montenegro to become part of a renewed Yugoslavia. True, 66% of the population voted Montenegrin Serbs, while Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Albanians, of whom there were also many in the republic, boycotted these elections. However, the West did not leave hope to split Montenegro from the Union Yugoslavia. True, it was somewhat more difficult to do this than to split the Muslims - Bosnians and Albanians or Catholics of Croats and Slovenes. Indeed, between the Montenegrins and the Serbs, speaking the same language and professing Orthodoxy, in fact there are no differences, except perhaps the cultural features. But for the West, Montenegro, which had access to the sea, was of strategic importance - by establishing control over Montenegro, Serbia, traditionally connected with Russia and the “most unloved” West in the Balkans, could be deprived of access to the Adriatic Sea and, thus, still to weaken it to a greater degree. Therefore, the West became preoccupied with the support of the anti-Serb and pro-American political regime in Montenegro. Unlike Putin, Lukashenko, Assad and other political leaders who have been in power for a long time in the West, the Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has ruled the republic (with “formal” interruptions) since 1991 of the year - that is, almost 25 years, the United States and the European Union do not pay attention. The main thing is that he is the “right” leader for them, observing the maintenance of American interests in the region. Therefore, it is possible for him to disperse the demonstrators, and to oppress the opposition, and rule almost a quarter century without change and without a hint of the coming changes in political life.
Montenegro: between independence and Serbian unity
Montenegro is one of the oldest states in the Balkans, with an ancient and interesting history. As early as the 7th century, the state of Dukla created by the Serbian tribes, formally considered as an integral part of the Byzantine Empire, appeared here. But then Prince Vojislav managed to defeat the Byzantines in the battle of the city of Bar (1042), after which the state became independent. At about the same time, it received a new name - Zeta. Around 1185, the Zeta was subordinated to the Serbian principality, then in 1356 it regained its independence, and in 1439 it became the protectorate of Venice. It was at this time that she received the name Montenegro - “Black Mountains”. The city of Cetinje became the capital of the country in which the authority of the local Chernojevi clan was established. When by 1499, the territory of Montenegro was almost completely subordinated to the Ottoman Empire, the Turks retained significant privileges behind the principality. Montenegro had its own government, courts of law, and even its own regular army. Already in the middle of the XVII century. Montenegro regained political independence. By the end of the XVII century. also applies to the rise to power in Montenegro of the Petrovic dynasty (Nigosh). She had a "spiritual" origin, because at the end of the XVII century. the only political authority capable of overcoming the internecine contradictions of the Montenegrin clans was Metropolitan Danilo Petrovich-Negosh Cetinje, who reigned for almost forty years - from 1696 to 1735. Danilo Petrovich established the authority of his own kind over Montenegro, and, since he was the metropolitan, that is, the representative of the “black clergy” who did not have the right to marry and acquire offspring, power in the country passed from uncle to nephew. Until the middle of the XIX century. Montenegrin rulers were at the same time metropolitans — that is, the heads of spiritual power and heads of political power in the country. However, in 1852, Mr .. Danilo I Petrovich proclaimed himself the first secular ruler of the country - the prince, and refused to the priesthood. Montenegro participated in almost all armed conflicts in the Balkans, possessing a small but very efficient army. In 1876, the country entered the Montenegrin-Turkish war, in 1877-1878. participated in the Russian-Turkish war, which resulted in, in accordance with the San Stefano peace treaty 19 February 1878 received access to the sea and the ports of Bar and Ulcinj. 13 July 1878. The main European powers recognized the Montenegrin principality as an independent state. In 1905, the first constitution of Montenegro was adopted, and 13 in August 1910. Montenegro was proclaimed a kingdom. She participated in the First Balkan War, having begun military operations against the Ottoman Empire, then fought in the First World War against Austria-Hungary, but after a year and a half she was forced to surrender and was occupied by Austro-Hungarian troops.
In the autumn of 1918, after the defeat of Austria-Hungary, Montenegro became independent again. The Great Assembly, gathered in Podgorica, decided to unconditionally enter Montenegro into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. It was from that time on in Montenegrin politics two main wings emerged - for unification with the Serbs in a single state and for the revival of an independent Montenegrin state. The first at the beginning of the twentieth century. gained fame under the name of “Belashi” and enjoyed the active support of the Serbian government, which formed the “National Guard” from the young “Belash”. Supporters of independence were called “greenhouses” and advocated the return of the Petrovich dynasty to the Montenegrin throne. Since the daughter of the former Montenegrin king, Elena Petrovich, was married to the king of Italy, Victor Emanuel, the Montenegrin “greenhouses” enjoyed the active support of Italy. On the financial means of the Italian government "green" in 1919-1926. fought a guerrilla war in the territory of Montenegro against the authorities of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The pro-Italian party's triumph occurred during World War II, when the separatists received the support of fascist Italy and proclaimed the creation of the Interim Administrative Committee of Montenegro (acted April 17 - May 5 1941), later transformed into the Montenegrin Council. Collaborationists from the Montenegrin Council served as guides for Italian influence in Montenegro.
Benito Mussolini saw Montenegro, like the entire Adriatic coast of the Balkans, part of “Greater Italy”. In turn, the Albanians and the Croats, who dreamed of dividing them among themselves, stared at the Montenegrin lands. But, ultimately, under the influence of the King of Italy, Victor Emanuel and his wife Queen Helena, Mussolini approved the creation of a formally independent Kingdom of Montenegro, which existed from 1941 to 1944. However, collaborators, declaring the "independence" of the kingdom, faced with ... the lack of candidates for the throne. “Zelenashi” invited Prince Mikhail Petrovich-Negosh, grandson of the last Montenegrin king Nikola I Petrovich, to the throne. However, Mikhail said that he supported the Yugoslav King Peter II Karageorgievich, who was his cousin, and therefore would not occupy the throne of Montenegro under Italian auspices. After this, the throne was offered to the Russian princes, Roman Petrovich Romanov and Nikolai Romanovich Romanov, but they also refused to take the post of the Montenegrin king. Therefore, the Italian administration ruled the kingdom, and Montenegro remained occupied territory - first by the Italians, and then, after the collapse of fascist Italy, by the Germans. Under the leadership of the Zelenas, the Lovchen brigade of four battalions was formed, commanded by Krsto Popovic (1881-1947) - an active supporter of the independence of Montenegro, who collaborated with the Italians. But the existence of the Lovchen brigade was short-lived - soon a part of its fighters went over to the side of the Yugoslav partisans, a part to the side of the Chetniks. Krsto Popovich himself did not take any of the parties and tried to act independently, but in 1947 he died, running into an ambush of the Yugoslav government forces.
Separate Montenegro from Serbia
After World War II, Montenegro was incorporated as a union republic into Yugoslavia. Fortunately, during the collapse of Yugoslavia, Montenegro escaped bloody wars on its territory, but the pro-Western movement in the country, which advocated disconnection from Belgrade, became more active. Milo Djukanovic defended Western interests in the Montenegrin leadership. By the time of his ascent to the top of the political Olympus of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic was a very young man. He was born in 1962, and became Montenegrin Prime Minister in 1991, at the age of 29. As early as 1989, in 27 years, he was elected to the Central Committee of the ruling Union of Communists of Yugoslavia. It was he who pushed the “old guard” of the Montenegrin communists from power in Montenegro, with the support of the Yugoslav political elite and special services. It is significant that the one who came to power, thanks in large part to the support of Slobodan Milosevic, Milo Djukanovic soon betrayed the latter - he became an active supporter of the expansion of autonomy, and then the separation of Montenegro from Yugoslavia. In 1991-1998 Djukanovic first held the post of Prime Minister of Montenegro, in 1998-2002. was president of the country, in 2003-2006. - again as prime minister of the country, then in 2008-2010. Djukanovic again occupied the premiership. Now he is again the prime minister of Montenegro. In fact, it is Milo Djukanovic who is the leader of the “pro-Western” party in the Montenegrin leadership, advocating the country's early and active integration into the European Union and NATO. Even when Montenegro was part of a union state, Djukanovic separated autonomy from Serbia by a customs and currency barrier. The currency of the country was the German mark, and then the euro. In 2006, it was with the filing of Djukanovic that a referendum was initiated in Montenegro, which resulted in the independence of the republic and its withdrawal from the confederative state.
Of course, a small and weak Montenegro does not have the ability to pursue an independent policy in modern conditions. But this is what the West needs, first of all the USA, for which the secession of Montenegro was just another blow to Serbia, which again lost access to the sea, and to the Russian positions in the Balkans. Naturally, the American leadership, like the European Union, is deeply parallel to any ideas about national or regional independence. Montenegrin independence is of interest precisely in the peak of Russia and Serbia; therefore, the European Union, the United States and NATO actively supported separatist tendencies in Montenegro, while simultaneously suppressing national liberation movements of the Basques, Catalans, Scots and other European peoples who advocate for their self-determination. Actually, the very history of the creation of Montenegrins as a people completely separated from the Serbs is connected with the plans of the West to split and destroy the Serbian cultural space. So, before 1992 Officially, there was no "Montenegrin language", but there was a single Serbo-Croatian language, which was considered the official language of Montenegro as part of the SFRY. В 1992-2007 гг. The state language of Montenegro was the Iekav dialect of the Serbian language, which is spoken in the region. However, after the final separation of Montenegro from Serbia, the Montenegrin language was proclaimed the state language. This proclamation itself put even linguistic specialists in an awkward position, since it was dictated not by considerations of the actual differences between Montenegrin dialects from the Serbian language, but by considerations of a political nature by the necessity of making the independence of Montenegro more convincing. Suffice it to say that supporters of the separate existence of the Montenegrin language are almost fully supported by the independent Montenegrin statehood. Back in the city 1992 Western-funded Montenegrin politicians and public figures opposed the proclamation of Serbian as the state language of Montenegro, arguing that Montenegrin, despite Serbian identity, is a separate language - like Bosnian or Macedonian, which, in fact, are also dialectal forms of Serbian, but were proclaimed in separate languages for political reasons. The isolation of the Montenegrin language became a purposeful action of the pro-Western leadership of Montenegro, carried out to legitimize the opposition of the Montenegrins to the Serbs, of the Montenegrin culture to the Serbian culture. Thus, according to the census of the population of Montenegro, held in 2003, 63,46% of the population of the republic named Serbian as their mother tongue and only 21,96% called Montenegrin language as their mother tongue. In general, the Montenegrin language considers the population of the historical part of Montenegro - Podgorica and its environs to be its mother tongue. It is significant that the state policy on the approval of the Montenegrin language gave its shoots less than ten years after the census 2003. In 2007, in accordance with the constitution of sovereign Montenegro, Montenegrin language was proclaimed the state language of the country. And in 2011 A new population census was conducted, according to which Montenegrin language was already called 37% of the country's citizens. Another step in the direction of moving away from the Serbs was the official equation of the rights of Cyrillic and Latin writing. Before the country's independence, the Montenegrins used Cyrillic and, naturally, it was impossible to translate them into the Latin script with a voluminous stroke of the pen; this requires considerable work, which has begun so far in the form of an affirmation of the equality of the two script versions. But you can be sure that with the further subordination of Montenegro to the European Union and the United States, the use of Latin writing in the country will increase, up to the foreseeable translation into the Latin script. There are materially engaged scholars who will diligently justify that the Latin script is more in line with the needs of the Montenegrin language.
Montenegrins are against NATO, but the government does not hear them
The riots in Podgorica, which began as early as September 2015, indicate that a significant part of the population of Montenegro does not share the country's leadership’s plans to integrate into NATO. However, pro-Western media in Montenegro itself and in neighboring Serbia have already identified the alleged perpetrator of popular protests. Of course, this is Russia, not interested in weakening its position in the Balkans. The Western media did not pay attention to the mass protests in the center of the Montenegrin capital and the harsh forceful dispersal of demonstrations and a tent camp by police special forces, but did not forget about the “role of Russia in provoking unrest”. The pro-Western politicians of Montenegro and Serbia have criticized Russia, as they are certain that it was Moscow that allegedly staged protests in the Montenegrin capital. So, Serbian pro-Western analyst Dusan Janic claims that Russia imagines itself a “great power”, organized “bombing Syria”, therefore it creates all sorts of obstacles for Montenegro to join NATO (http://www.vz.ru/world/2015/ 10 / 19 / 773001.html). It is also significant that the pro-Western Serbian press is accusing Russia. Thanks to Montenegrin separatism, historically nurtured at the expense of England and Italy, and later the USA, Serbia lost access to the sea and a significant part of the very close to the ethno-confessional and culturally speaking population, speaking the Serbian language and professing Orthodoxy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. But now these “Serbian” media, working for their American masters, are making regular attacks on Russia, allegedly defending the sovereignty of Montenegro. Is it not absurd? It turns out, no. Indeed, in Serbia itself there are very impressive political forces influencing Western money and also considering joining NATO as the most important task for the development of the Serbian state. Naturally, these forces do not personify the entire Serbian people, but financial support from the United States and the European Union is doing its job - and it is the pro-Western circles today that largely determine the policy of the Serbian state. "Westerners" manage to destroy the centuries-old friendly relations of Montenegro and Serbia with Russia, with the Russian people close to the Serbs and Montenegrins. Back in March 2014 Montenegro joined the sanctions imposed by the European Union against the Russian Federation in connection with the events in Ukraine. At the same time, Montenegro itself continues to develop in many ways, relying on the financial resources that it receives from the country-oriented Russian and Russian consumers in the country's tourist business. After the start of mass protests in Podgorica, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that the opposition was supported by the Russian Federation, which aims to prevent the NATO bloc from moving east. According to Djukanovic, Russia can take any measures to prevent Montenegro and other countries of the Balkan Peninsula from joining NATO.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Norway, said that NATO member countries are increasingly supporting the decision to invite Montenegro to the North Atlantic Alliance. At the same time, the NATO Secretary General himself confirmed that the United States provided the main support to the Montenegrin government’s decision, albeit with the proviso that Montenegro should achieve the rule of law, improve the situation in the fight against corruption and increase the level of “public support” of the country's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. Until the end of 2015 NATO must decide whether or not to invite Montenegro to the bloc. The organization’s secretary general promised in early December, after the ministerial meeting, to give a more detailed answer to the question of whether Montenegro will become part of the North Atlantic alliance. “In less than two months, NATO foreign ministers will decide whether to invite Montenegro to join the alliance. Montenegro has already made significant reforms, you have made important progress in strengthening the rule of law, I urged you to continue to increase public support for membership. Full implementation of reforms is key. This can be done, and Montenegro is taking the right steps, ”said Jens Stoltenberg at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, in Podgorica (Cit. by: http://ria.ru/world/20151015/1302534230.html). By the way, all the pro-government Montenegrin media broadcast information about the past meeting as the most important political event and the real victory of Prime Minister Djukanovic, although the meeting was more reminiscent of the arrival of the “owner” to the “manager”. The main obstacle to the country's accession to the alliance, including the lack of public support for Montenegro’s membership in NATO, remains. According to sociological studies, more than half of the country's population opposes Montenegro’s membership in the North Atlantic bloc, and this is still very moderate data. Although the Montenegrin authorities are conducting an active information campaign in support of the country's entry into NATO, most Montenegrins are not so naive as to believe in the bright prospects that Milo Djukanovic and the pro-Western media controlled by him and liberal-oriented public organizations draw with them. Proponents of NATO membership are trying to manipulate the public consciousness, arguing that integration into the North Atlantic bloc will help improve the country's political and socio-economic situation. About the fact that most Montenegrins do not approve of NATO membership, back in 2011. The country's leadership expressed something like this: “Some decisions that are useful for the state can be made even if the majority of the population do not understand them and do not support them.” The Montenegrin leadership expects to increase support from the population through outright duping through controlled mass media. Naturally, in the financing of the information campaign are invested a lot of money coming from the United States. In addition, the key to joining NATO is unconditional support for any actions by the United States of America - including those directed against Montenegrin traditional allies (for example, against Russia), and also completely unprofitable to the country's economy and the real interests of its people.
"Pros" and cons of joining NATO
Montenegrin “Westerners” supporters of joining the North Atlantic Alliance believe that this decision will help strengthen the country's defense capability. Indeed, the Montenegrin armed forces are very small and weak. After leaving the union state, the process of reforming the Montenegrin armed forces began, which has not been completed to this day. The composition of the Montenegrin armed forces includes, firstly, the ground forces themselves, which are not allocated in a separate form. They consist of a ground forces brigade (consisting of a mountain battalion, an infantry battalion, a special forces company, a communications company, an engineering company, an artillery battery), as well as a guard of honor company, a military police company and an electronic reconnaissance company. Montenegro Air Force, established in 2006 on the basis of the 172nd aviation Yugoslav Air Force brigades, include 1 helicopter squadron, 3 helicopter squadrons - support, transport and general purpose, aircraft company, air base guard platoon and air defense company. The air force is deployed at the Golubovtsi airbase, part of which is used as the international airport of Podgorica. The Montenegrin Navy is deployed in the port of Bar and includes a patrol squad, a sea observation squad, a rescue squad, a special naval squad, training ship, a logistics platoon and a communications platoon. Immediately after independence, the Montenegrin armed forces were transferred to recruitment through the employment of contractors. The modern leadership of Montenegro hopes that joining NATO will help increase the effectiveness of the country's armed forces, as the United States and other NATO countries will assist Montenegro in the rearmament and reorganization of the country's armed forces.
The entry of Montenegro into NATO, in the opinion of “Westerners,” will be economically beneficial for the Montenegrin state. To tiny Montenegro, according to “Westerners”, this will provide additional financial resources and jobs for the Montenegrin population. Meanwhile, for the West, Montenegro currently matters only in the context of confrontation with Russia. The US and NATO want to “stake out” the Montenegrin lands behind them so that in the future, with a possible change in the political situation in the Balkans, Russia will not acquire its own military base in Montenegro. For this, it is enough to create in the territory of Montenegro at least a small NATO “stronghold”. Let it be an auxiliary unit quartered there from a few dozen soldiers and officers under the NATO flag, but it already guarantees that Montenegro belongs to the North Atlantic Alliance. As for the economic benefits of staying such a base in the territory of Montenegro, it is very doubtful. Well, dozens of Montenegrins get a job as cooks, cleaners and drivers at such a base, will American or British soldiers visit a couple of pubs and food stalls - so what? Is such a dubious benefit worth not only the deliberate deterioration of relations with Russia (and Russia today is one of the largest investors in Montenegro), but also the destabilization of the political situation in the country? It is obvious that the Montenegrin leadership of the United States and NATO are making such proposals that cannot be refused. At the same time, Djukanovic was also provided with an “indulgence” in case of possible questions about the harsh crackdown of the anti-government demonstration in Podgorica and the harassment of opposition members of parliament and journalists. Everything that goes to the benefit of American and NATO interests - you can do it, everything that is carried out contrary to these interests - is impossible. The logic is clear, but will the Montenegrin people agree with the policy of their leadership?
Opposition-minded Montenegrins were united around themselves by the Democratic Front coalition, one of whose leaders is the Chairman of the New Serbian Democracy Party, Andria Mandic. He spoke in favor of a change of power in the country and the voluntary resignation of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. According to Mandic, the Parliament of Montenegro (Assembly) has actually lost its legitimacy, since it does not reflect the opinion of the majority of its voters. In the event that Djukanovic does not resign, Mandic promises to bring all of Montenegro to the streets of Podgorica and to continue the protests until the Prime Minister leaves his place. That is, the situation is developing according to the classic scenario of the “color revolutions” and “Maidans”, once tested by the United States in Georgia, Ukraine, in the countries of the Arab East, but now adopted by opponents of American influence in Eastern Europe. It is not excluded that Montenegro will become the first link in the chain of Eastern European "anti-American Maidan", since the policy of the United States, NATO and the European Union in Eastern Europe managed to set up a significant number of citizens of Eastern European countries dissatisfied with the influx of migrants from the countries of the Middle East into anti-American. owners ”from Brussels and Washington), participation in conflicts on the side of the United States and NATO, damage to the economy from participation in the economic confrontation with Russia. Montenegro receives more than 50% of the income of its tourism business from Russian tour operators, so it’s understandable that deterioration in relations with Russia will not contribute to Montenegro’s economic prosperity, nor will American, British or Belgian tourists rush to the Montenegrin resorts instead of Russians tourists. Naturally, many Montenegrins are well aware of the consequences of creating a NATO base on the coast of the country for their own wallet - after all, a significant part of the businessmen and employees of the country “feed” from the tourist business focused on Russia. The number of people employed in the tourism business of Montenegrins is hundreds of times more than those jobs that may appear if the NATO base appears in the country. In addition to the tourist business, the main sources of income to the state treasury and to the pockets of the citizens of Montenegro are the service sector, “sharpened” by foreign, primarily Russian, tourists, and the sale and rental of real estate, also closely related to the tourism business and, accordingly, focused on Russia. Montenegro’s entry into NATO will thus strike at the main pillars of the Montenegrin economy - the tourism business, the service business and the real estate business. Therefore, anti-government demonstrations in Podgorica also reflect the economic interests of ordinary Montenegrins, who are not interested in worsening relations with Russia and the appearance of NATO facilities in the country.
It seems that mass protests in the Montenegrin capital have put the pro-Western regime of Montenegro, and indeed the Western countries themselves, in a rather ambiguous position. Indeed, the majority of Montenegrins oppose, firstly, the country's entry into NATO, since they do not see any positive consequences for the country in this decision, and secondly, they are extremely dissatisfied with the socio-economic situation that currently exists in Montenegro. they consider Milo Djukanovic to be the direct result of more than twenty years of actual rule. In Montenegro, corruption is running high, the level of social polarization of the population is very high, especially in comparison with the scale of the country and its population, the incomes of Montenegrins are extremely small compared to other European countries. In all of this, the Montenegrins blame Djukanovic. The latter, fearing for his power and his own personal security, had already applied force to the protesters, having broken up the tent camp in the country. But, apparently, more radical protests are still ahead, and whether the Montenegrin Prime Minister, by the way, one of the initiators of the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, can hold his chair, is difficult to say. As for the United States and the countries of the European Union, there is also a clear panic about the events in Montenegro. In addition to the dull anti-Russian statements accusing Russia as the alleged organizer of the protests in Montenegro, Western politicians have not yet decided what to do in this situation. Already, the representative of the US Department of State was forced to make a statement in which he confirmed "the people’s right to peaceful protests" and said that Montenegro is "an independent country and the decision to join the ranks of the NATO bloc can only be taken independently." It is possible that the decision on the entry of Montenegro into NATO, actively pushed by the United States, may be blocked by Germany and France. Firstly, these countries experience great inconvenience from the deterioration of relations with Russia, which occurred at the American initiative. Secondly, the destabilization of the political situation in Montenegro, which may follow Djukanovic’s attempts to retain political power and ensure the further entry of Montenegro into the North Atlantic Alliance, is not at all advantageous to them. After all, refugees and immigrants, in case of aggravation of the political situation in Montenegro, will rush en masse not to the USA, but to the same countries of the European Union, first of all to Germany. Finally, European countries do not really want to bear the financial burden of costs associated with supporting the Djukanovic regime and ensuring Montenegro’s entry into NATO.