Seven former ministers from Albania, Kosovo, Slovenia, Croatia, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in their letter to European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General – s, Jens Stoltenberg expressed concern about the latest developments in Montenegro, calling on the EU and NATO institutions to take steps to resolve the issue.
President of the European Council, HE Charles Michel
President of the European Commission, Chief Ursula von dear NATO Secretary General Leyen, HE Jens Stoltenberg
Appeal to Montenegro
We, the former ministers in the respective governments of the countries of the region, are watching with great concern the latest developments in Montenegro. Since we have all experienced the Balkan wars of the 1990s, we cannot fail to see alarming similarities between the events in Montenegro today and the events that led to those wars of twenty-five to thirty years ago. Montenegro is not a country with a large population, but it is strategically very important for the stability of Southeast Europe and even the entire Adriatic basin. Its relatively recent accession to NATO has greatly contributed to the regional security of this part of Europe.
Although the events surrounding the installation of the new leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro may seem to be related to a religious issue, in fact they have nothing to do with religion, or even politics or ideology. They are another manifestation of the conflict between the forces that think that Montenegro should not exist as a separate state, and those who believe that Montenegro should remain independent, with all the attributes of citizenship.
There is no doubt that the former Montenegrin government can be criticized on many levels. However, despite these mistakes, they strongly believed in an independent Montenegro as a vital member of NATO and with a future within the EU. Their most aggressive critics come from the ranks of people who deny themselves Montenegrin citizenship and political independence. The multi-year delay in the EU accession process for the Western Balkan countries encourages instincts and actions that are reminiscent of a bitter past.
One does not need to be a specialist in the history of the Balkans to know that all efforts to change the borders in this region have been closely followed by wars, human suffering and great tragedies. Another open place of conflict and crisis in Europe is the last thing Europe and the world need at this time.
We therefore urge our EU institutions and other allies to engage in active political dialogue with all the various political and social actors in the current crisis in Montenegro and to help secure a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict. in place. Claiming that nothing is happening will have dire consequences for Montenegro and the region. It is especially important to note and oppose new attempts to subjugate a politically weak Montenegrin government under anti-NATO and anti-EU influences.
September 6, 2021
Ditmir Bushati, former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Albania
Enver Hoxhaj, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Kosovo
Roman Jakič, former Minister of Defense and Member of Parliament / MEP, Slovenia
Emil Kirjas, former Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N. Macedonia
Žarko Korać, former Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Serbia
Zlatko Lagumxhija, former Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs, former MP, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vesna Pusić, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and EU, former MP, Croatia./ibna