Russia has, Biserko states, quite easily won “hearts in the Balkans” after the West, dealing with its own crisis, reduced its presence in the region in 2008, placing EU expansion on a side track. “This proved to be a cardinal mistake of the EU. The region slid into regression in the meantime, seeking support in Russia, China, Turkey, Emirates… At the same time, it is clear Russia is not interested in development projects, but primarily in the obstruction of the European development of Balkan countries. Russian “soft power” has penetrated all spheres of public life,” noted Biserko.
As she pointed out, she is afraid that Russia, in its “brotherly” involvement, will not refrain from using certain centers in Montenegro, from a portion of the Montenegrin opposition and Serbian Orthodox church, to certain intelligence circles. “Although a small country, Montenegro has, primarily due to the statehood maturity of Milo Đukanović, so far managed to stave off all pressure I hope it will succeed in this again. In any case, caution is advised and nothing is to be left to chance,” feels Biserko.
Certain western analysts but also important western media, as she rated, are correct in stating the coming presidential elections in Montenegro are in fact a new choice between East and West, a sort of referendum on the future of Montenegro. “For a long time Montenegro has been working on its road to the EU, and now it must take care of the underground rocks in its path. This is why I say the coming period will probably see disruptions on the interior and regional scene. Personally, I am convinced that nothing will question the euro-Atlantic orientation of Montenegro, but the public does need to be introduced to the challenges and threats at hand. Not just for Montenegro, but for the region as well,” concluded Biserko.
Translated from Café del Montenegro, for the original click here.