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Marko Milačić, Montenegro Neutrality Movement leader: Sovereignty is NATO's enemy

The founder and the leader of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro, journalist Marko Milačić in the programme Simple Questions with Egor Khrustalyov.

Hello, thank you very much for your time and welcome to Belarus.

Marko Milačić, journalist, leader of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro:
Thank you very much, it is also a pleasure for me.

Mr Milačić, I read in media that you had been arrested and even called “Public Enemy No. 1” in your own country. Does it mean that the issue of joining NATO is really No. 1 for Montenegro?

Marko Milačić:
In essence, it is. Of course, one of the main issues in our country is our bad standards. So it is interesting for ordinary people there. That is why, as you’ve said,

I was a few times arrested.

Once I was arrested because of protesting against NATO membership. So, they just want to calm the country, they don’t want to hear criticism; they don’t want me and protesters like me to doubt the official truth. And

the official truth in Montenegro sounds like our only way is the way to NATO.

Our partners from Washington and Brussels regard us as a democracy. Nevertheless, I have one short parallel: Djukanovic, our prime minister for the seventh time, the leader of the country...

...for 21 year already, am I right?

Marko Milačić:
He has been in power for 27 years already. For example,

Lukashenko, in your country has been in power less than that, I think, for 24 years. And here we see double standards: West calls our prime minister an example of democracy and Lukashenko is called a dictator.

So, these are double standards.

We, Belarusians, like to say with pride that we live in the geographical centre of Europe. But where is the political centre of Europe nowadays? Or where is the centre of European Union? Is it in Brussels, in Berlin, in Paris, or even in Washington?

Marko Milačić:
I studied political sciences along with journalism, and from my point of view this is a utopia. But it may be not, for example, from the point of view of Charles de Gaulle and his vision of Europe. Anyway, if you ask me to name the city, I will name you a few of them. I think Europe will not be Europe without the connection between Paris, Berlin and Moscow, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Urals. That is the vision of the new Europe, and

the European integrity is not possible without that connection, without Russia.

The United States is very well aware of that. Since the end of WWII, it has been trying to prevent even the possibility of this integration. Because Washington knows very well that it can make the U.S. lose much of its influence on Europe. And the U.S. has no need in free, out-of-NATO Europe; it wants to have it under their control.That’s not my vision of Europe.

My Europe is the Europe with good cooperation and great relations with Minsk and Moscow as well as with Washington, etc.

Lots of Belarusians call the disintegration of the USSR the biggest tragedy of the 20th century, even their personal tragedy. And you witnessed the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Do you know the people from ex-Yugoslavia nostalgic about the former country? Can we compare the two disintegrations?

Marko Milačić:
It was a big geopolitical or even global process. Disintegration is not so bad if we control it. Because I think that the West kept the rein on these disintegrations.

Now we have facts of the involvement of the United States in the split of the Soviet Union

and soon after its collapse we saw the split of Yugoslavia. I think it was controlled from the West because they didn’t want to see strong countries. Surely, during WWII the West wanted to fight against fascism. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had only one idea in common, which was to fight against Hitler.

But immediately after the Hitler’s defeat the West started to fight against communism.

Though, I think, they wanted to fight Russia even more than communism. Now we can see that their enemy was not even communism, but sovereignty. Today we see a sovereign Russia, a sovereign China.

If we talk about Yugoslavia, they just didn’t want to have a big country in the heart of Europe.

No doubt, we bear the responsibility for the civil war in our country; we bear the responsibility for our leaders, more or less democratic or autocratic. But this process was controlled on the global level.

Is it your first visit to Minsk?

Marko Milačić:
Yes.

What is your impression of the city? But, please, no compliments here.

Marko Milačić:
I’m really positively surprised. I’m here for the first time and my first impression is that it is a very nice city. It’s refreshed.

When we are talking of these visible things, we see that the old communist style buildings are refreshed.

It’s a serious city, a real big city. And I would say that I like it more than Moscow. Because

it’s calmer, it’s not so chaotic.

I really feel nice here in Minsk and I really like it.

Thank you for your words about Minsk and thank you for your visit to Belarus. We’ll be glad to see you in Belarus again.

Marko Milačić:
Thank you very much. I hope next time you will be my guest, maybe, in some show in Montenegro.

Marko Milacic interviewed by Egor Khrustalyov in Beijing Hotel, Minsk