ISSN 2330-717X

Montenegro: Government Accused Of ‘Treason’ Over Kosovo Border Deal


By Dusica Tomovic

Montenegro’s main pro-Serbian opposition group, the Democratic Front, has accused the country’s pro-Western government of treason after Podgorica and Pristina agreed to set up an working group “to correct if necessary” the previously agreed border between the two countries.

The Front accused the Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, of “voluntarily giving part of the country’s territory to Kosovo”.

One of the Front’s leaders, Nebojsa Medojevic, on Twitter on Monday complained that none of the other parliamentary parties, pro-Western NGOs or the state university had reacted after part of the territory of Montenegro was “gifted to the fake state of Kosovo”.

“No one [reacted] except the Democratic Front. The others are ready for treason,” Medojevic said.

On Friday, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci issued a joint statement with the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, about the controversial issue of marking the border, saying the two states had agreed to work together on identifying points of dispute.

Thaci spoke of the formation of a joint working body with Montenegro, which will identify disagreements over the border and make the necessary corrections in Cakor, the disputed mountain peak on the border.

While the two countries that both were once part of Yugoslavia signed a demarcation agreement in 2015, Kosovo’s parliament has yet to ratify it.

The agreement referred to the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution and to maps from 1974.

President Thaci said Kosovo would make “all efforts to ratify the agreement” once the dispute was cleared up.

Kosovo has failed to ratify it due to strong opposition from several parties, which claim it deprives Kosovo of territory.

The agreement was supposed to be put to a vote in the Kosovo parliament in September 2016, but ratification was postponed following violent clashes over the issue.

Opposition parties in Kosovo claim the mountain peaks of Cakor and Beluha, located on the border, assigned to Montenegro, are part of Kosovo.

Now, the opposition Front alliance in Montenegro says it fears Podgorica is preparing a “trade-off”, and is willing to give up some of the country’s territory.

On Sunday, the Front said that Montenegro could be endangered by the government’s new deal. “Such an extremely critical and dangerous situation, in which a group of irresponsible politicians trades territory, can only be solved by the courts or in a referendum,” it said.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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