Montenegro’s Deputy PM to N1: No split in coalition; Questioning genocide wrong

Dritan Abazović

Montenegro's Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic was wrong to question the Srebrenica genocide and he should have been more sensitive about the issue, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazovic told N1's Vojislav Stevanovic in Podgorica on Wednesday, adding there was no split among the ruling coalition.

“He had to be more cautious from the position he holds. I understand everything, the need for additional politicisation, the need for the opposition to question topics that they failed to complete in their thirty-year term, I understand that they are trying to create discord, to create an incident, extremism, national hatred to protect their capital and illegally acquired property. I understand all that, but the Minister had to understand that as well,” Abazovic said.

He also denied any split among the ruling coalition parties.

Abazovic said his coalition would vote for Leposavic’s ouster, adding the cooperation with him was good, but that was a political issue and as a deputy Prime Minister „I have to follow the Government and its head’s policy. And if anytime I disagree with that, I should not sit here.“

In the meantime, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic, told Serbia’s state RTS TV he would come to Belgrade „as soon as I’m invited,“ adding the good occasion for the visit was that he pledged with Serbia’s President and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Ana Brnabic to help Podgorica in getting anti-coronavirus vaccines. „These two nations are directed to each other and should cooperate. And we will very soon come to a solution which will be to the satisfaction of both countries, and both peoples, and will solve all the problems that have accumulated so far. „

He added Leposavic “ had to have a certain amount of sensibility, to understand that we have to present ourselves as pro-Europeans because we promised that to the citizens.“

„I think it was a misdemeanour and how that should be valuated was up to the  Prime Minister who made his decision. Now it remains to be seen what effects it will have,” Abazovic told N1.

Montenegro’s Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic provoked many reactions after the statement in which he relativized the Srebrenica genocide, at the Assembly session. He said he was “ready to recognise genocide” if it was “unequivocally” determined to have happened.

Aked if the Government has a common position on the issue, Abazovic says „it has and that is that  we must respect the decisions of international courts, all those decisions that related to our country, that have been adopted by our institutions,” Abazovic said, adding:

“We have the Declaration on the Genocide in Srebrenica, we must adhere to it. It is a matter of principle.“

Speaking about this year’s tourist season Abazovic said his country hoped to reach 50 percent of the pre-COVID-19 pandemic and added all people from Serbia and the region were welcome Montenegro.

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He also denied reports that Podgorica asked Brussels to help it repay a debt it owed to China, and that the European Union rejected it.


„I don’t understand those interpretations. We can ask only for a new loan from the EU,“ he said.