Monday, February 15, 2016

Montenegro and Nato: Foes to friends?

Guy Delauney, BBC

image from article
Opinion polls have painted a distinctly unenthusiastic picture - with fewer than half the respondents in favour of Nato membership. The issue has also become tied up with protests against the long-serving, controversial Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic.
"The key question is: who is leading us to Nato?" says Marko Milacic, the Executive Director of the Movement for Neutrality, which opposes Nato membership.
"It's a small group trying to maintain privilege. We are an autocracy - a facade of democracy. The first step - to make the Nato accession process transparent - is to have a referendum. But that referendum has to be free and fair." ...
"Nato will be good for Montenegro - long-lasting stability will be good for economic development and investment," says Vesko Garcevic, the National Coordinator for Nato integration.
"It's a security organisation but it's also about values - a set of values common to all Nato members. That has to be taken seriously - Montenegro should embrace democracy, strong institutions, the rule of law, and the integrity of parliament."
As for the question of a referendum, Mr Garcevic concedes that depends on "political will". But he believes that sceptics will be convinced by an ongoing campaign in conjunction with Nato's public diplomacy division. ...

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