Crisis in Belgrade-Podgorica relations was triggered by law on religious communities passed a week ago by the Parliament of Montenegro. On the occasion of last night’s incidents outside the Embassy of Montenegro in Belgrade, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic dismissed Serbian political leadership while expressing his dissatisfaction with the “passive stance” of the Serbian authorities.
Following a basketball match with FC Bayern Munich, thousands of Red Star Belgrade fans marched through the city center late yesterday evening and gathered outside the diplomatic building that houses the Embassy of Montenegro. Demonstrators were shouting slogans against Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic while throwing flares, trying to burn the country’s flag. There was no police force to protect the embassy building during the demonstration. “Last night in Belgrade another uncivilised attack on the Embassy of Montenegro and our flag. The Serb authorities’ passive stance is staggering. Once again, Montenegro faces the need to defend its independence and freedom. We will preserve our Montenegro regardless of the hatred with which it is being swamped by the same actors within its borders and abroad,” Dusko Markovic wrote in his twitter account.
The ambassador of Serbia to Podgorica was invited today to the Foreign Ministry of Montenegro today to provide them with clarifications. “The act of attacking the Embassy and the national symbols, and in fact an undisturbed nationalist feast, is absolutely unacceptable. […] We call on the Government of the Republic of Serbia to respond urgently, in line with international conventions, to this act of vandalism and we urge the competent authorities to take appropriate action as quickly as possible against the organisers and perpetrators, who violate the security of the premises of the Embassy of Montenegro,” said the statement issued by the Foreign Ministry of Montenegro.
Even though he condemned the protesters’ efforts to burn the flag of Montenegro, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic described Prime Minister Dusko Markovic’s claims referring to intolerance by the Serbian authorities as untrue and malicious. Aleksandar Vucic noted that Serbia did not undermine Montenegro’s independence, and complained to the Markovic government that its policy was threatening the Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro every day.