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Stanišić: NATO membership is Montenegro's biggest civilization step

SARAJEVO, February 17 (FENA) - Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have the best bilateral relations in the region, Ambassador of Montenegro to BiH Obrad Mišo Stanišić said in an interview with FENA.  

Interview by: Jasmina Čusto

“We support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and will do everything we can to share our experience in Euro-Atlantic and European integrations to facilitate our esteemed neighbor the path to full membership in NATO and the EU. We will do our best to share experiences and help our friendly countries in the region and beyond the same way we received help especially from Croatia and Slovenia, for which we are immensely grateful,” said Stanišić.

He recalled that on June 5, 2017, Montenegro became a full-fledged member of NATO, thus achieving one of its two significant foreign policy priorities.

“I can freely say that becoming the 29th member of the NATO Alliance is the biggest civilization step of Montenegro in its millennium history. It is quite certain that our country will be the first next full member of the EU, since it is in advanced stage in the negotiation process, we opened 32 negotiation chapters out of 33, we closed some of these chapters and I am convinced that the remaining chapter 8 (competition) will open soon,” the Montenegrin Ambassador pointed out.

He added that NATO is not only a military but also a political and economic organization.

Regarding the current political and security situation in Montenegro, he stressed that it is stable, despite the fact that, because of dissatisfaction with the adoption of the law on freedom of religion or belief and the legal position of religious communities, "religious" gatherings are organized under conductor of the church leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.

“Behind these protests, in addition to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, there are political nationalist structures inside, and especially outside Montenegro, which is also known to domestic and international public. Nationalist ideas about old grand-state projects that were unthinkable without Montenegro were reactivated. The greatest supporter of these ideas was the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has been operating in Montenegro since 1920, when the decree abolished the Montenegrin Autocephalous Orthodox Church. I ask if and where in the world is there a religious community in a country that denies that state, its nation, its language and the church and its historical duration? All foreign policy makers need to understand that Montenegro is a civil, multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state. We are a member of NATO and the first next EU member and we are a factor of stability in the region, said the Ambassador of Montenegro to BiH.

Stanišić also said that "Montenegro and its institutions are ready to preserve stability, peace and constitutional order and no one will ever decide on Montenegro and its destiny beyond its borders".

“As for BiH Presidency member Dodik and his opposing that President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Djukanović, as a proven friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina, comes to bilateral visit, I think this unprovoked and surprising act cast a shadow over our friendly neighborly relations and most of all caused damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ambassador of Montenegro to BiH Obrad Mišo Stanišić concluded in an interview with FENA.