Montenegrin people are malicious to the Alliance. Remembering bombings in the late 90s. The first NATO’s bomb has fallen precisely on the Montenegrin territory.


Montenegrins are aware that, for example, on the Lustica peninsula some beach areas are filled with concrete. There NATO used radioactive ammunition. 


From 60% to 80% of poll respondents in Montenegro respond they are against NATO. 


In recent years, active agitation for bloc accession led to a reduction of the non-admition grade, by a nose, and as we see, for short while. Nevertheless, Parliament adopted a decision to enter. Singlehandedly. Refusing initiative groups to hold a referendum for obvious reasons. The referendum would be a disaster.


The political system of the country is formed by clans, clans in the admission to a hearty business or budget segments are fully dependent on the government. Chairman of the Montenegrin Government clearly called for Euro-Atlantic integration. In general, it’s pretty well known, and much has already been written about this.


However, peaceful and quiet reluctance is different from fierce rejection that can lead to radical actions. Comes hour X when the Alliance is ready to give an invitation to Montenegro to enter its ranks. On December 1, 2015. The country is flooded with massive street demonstrations. Even though the original cause of unrest was the disastrous social and economic situation of the republic, anti-NATO attitude has played a very significant role in the protest moods. 


Now everywhere – in the shops, cafes and on the streets, at homes and in the families, Montenegrins are talking about their hatred to the government’s actions. And not only the poor and desperate people, but also citizens with relatively good incomes. Those who only whispered a week ago, today, are no longer shy or afraid to say out loudly: “If they drag us into NATO, we will take arms and fight for Russia”.


A lot of Russian flags began to appear on protests. But there’re no Russians attending them. The Montenegrin government is constantly and without any reason reproaches Russia for provoking riots. That is why, many Russians living here were explained: those meetings are the will of Montenegrins, not the Russians, and solidarity with our country is also their free decision. 


What happened? Why such effective usual Euro-Atlantic propaganda doesn’t work in Montenegro?


The first reason:


Under Montenegrins noses is an example of Bulgaria and Romania. Euro-Atlantic integration has led their economies to a marked fall. Closer example is Croatia when such integration got in economy’s way, and political crises and risks only increased. 


Among other things, hushed up confrontation between two parties: Croatia is pretending to the Montenegrin Cape Prevlaka allowing to share control with Montenegro over the entrance to the Bay of Kotor. Now it’s completely Montenegrin. How are such conflicts are bringing to resolution within NATO Montenegrins see in turms of Cyprus dividing into Turkish and Greek parts. The conclusion is that if the land is trying to take away from the Orthodox, the conflict one way or another will be frozen, and is clearly not in the interests of the latter.


The second reason:


The long-standing, supported by history, Montenegrins love to Russia and Russians. Actually, the Principality of Montenegro in due season was formed with the help of the Russian Empire which gave both financial and military, and cultural-educational support. 


Every Montenegrin remembers St. Peter of Cetinje’s testament that each who’d betray mother-Russia would be cursed. However, many cannot imagine that NATO accession means automatically excluding the friendship with Russia. 


Agitation began to push namely this point of view: Montenegro into NATO doesn’t interfere and doesn’t threaten Russia. So we will enter the bloc, but won’t stop to be friends with the Russians. 


However, this formula quickly collapsed. During the last phase of an active campaign for bloc entering, while the Russian diplomacy has publicly distanced itself from any influence on the will of people, provocations started to occure in Montenegro. 


Yet we must admit that a media pressure on people firstly have done its work, and if everyone there were fed and wellfared – the protest would gradually come to naught. But the third factor came into force.


The third reason:


The fall of 2015 tourist reason stagnation in the real estate market. These are the main items of income in the country. In addition, the budget is abundantly filled with property taxes of Russian “gardeners”. Despite the triumphant media it was visible to the naked eye: there were less people on the streets of coastal towns in the summer.


Hotels, according to managers, were filled at best 40%. The confusion in the laws, bureaucratic delays and unjustified expense, undermined the attractiveness of the rest here even for those Russians who had already had a property here. Objective reasons were added for this as well. Acquisition of Crimea, the global crisis and the depreciation of the ruble against the euro. 


But the crucial moment was the fact that the Montenegrin government has supported sanctions against Russia and thus brought to the breakdown of traditional relations. And it had already been impact not with some poor farmers in the north of the country, it was a blow to the interests of influential people in the south. The last mentioned are aware that no Germans and British wouldn’t invest in the unstable Balkan republic.


The fourth and the last reason:


The tragedy of a Russian military plane downed by the Turks in the skies over Syria. It is obvious that people sympathize and commiserate Russia, that’s why there’re so many Russian flags at rallies. 


The fact that the hatred to the Ottoman Empire, to its cruel yoke, here in the Balkans, is maintained almost at the genetic level. As it turns out, years of loyal co-existence haven’t change anything. 


Turkey – a NATO member downs Russian aircraft, which doesn’t threat it. Turkish radical group tears Russian pilot to pieces. Those who have been loyal to NATO yesterday – today are already not.


Support for NATO now is also Turkey’s support. And the radical Islamists with it, and authorship for the war initiation, perhaps even the world war. Brussels complex statements about the downed plane only added fuel to the fire.


Now it’s obvious that the protests won’t stop and will only become more radical in the case of a state’s accesion in the Alliance. And if recently their goal was only the resignation of the government, now this is obviously not enough.


Edited by Catherine Nollan




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