FRY as a potential source of crisis
by Slobodan Pavlovic, SENSE
At a recent conference in Washington, organized by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the participants agreed that in addition to Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo, FRY too remains a source of potential conflict. Srdjan Darmanovic, director of the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Podgorica: ‘We have witnessed months of fruitless negotiations chaired by EU representative Solana, who displays greater enthusiasm for the preservation of FRY than do all the leaders of Serbia’s democratic forces, apart from FRY president Vojislav Kostunica. He has on his side also the pro-Yugoslav opposition in Montenegro. By placing pressure on Djukanovic to give up the proposed referendum and independence, the EU is in fact strengthening the pro-Milosevic bloc in Montenegro. These are the forces that are also against reforms, European integration and cooperation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The government of Montenegro is put in an impossible situation: either IT rejects the EU proposals and holds the referendum, which could bring about EU retaliation; or IT accepts the Brussels ultimatum, which would be a great victory for the anti-Western forces in both Montenegro and Serbia.’ Vojin Dimitrijevic, director of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, agreed that EU pressure on Podgorica was strengthening pro-Miloševic forces in Serbia which had been perceived as decisively defeated with Milosevic’s removal from power. The conference called upon the US government to actively involve itself yet again in the solution of Montenegro’s future status, and recommended that any solution should be based on the expressed will of Montenegro’s citizens.
This comment has been translated from Monitor (Podgorica), 8 February 2002