PODGORICA – By joining the investigation on attempted terrorist attack in Montenegro, Great Britain is sending a clear message to its ally the US – Moscow overdid it and Montenegro must join NATO as soon as possible, said Daniel Serwer, professor at Johns Hopkins University and Balkans expert, CDM reports.
“UK information lead us to believe that what Russia is doing is not welcome. However, as soon as Montenegro joins NATO, Moscow will be more careful”, he said to Pobjeda daily.
Serwer said he could not say when would the ratification be finalized in the US.
“There is no reason to believe there is any opposition to ratification in the Senate”, Serwer said.
Serwer said that it is difficult to keep good bilateral relations if one of the countries has planned a state coup and attack on the prime minister.
“After this situation, it only seems logical that Montenegrins would choose defense within NATO”, Serwer said.
He said it was not up to Moscow to dictate whether there would be a referendum on NATO membership in Montenegro.
“Putin claims to respect the sovereignty of any country, so his policies should reflect that”, he said, adding that Montenegro would be awarded for its courage and perseverance this year.
“I do not believe that anyone in the Congress wants to put a stop to ratification due to Russian involvement, but it remains to be seen. I hope they would like to send a clear signal to Russians that NATO doors remain open for those qualified to join. Europe, wholesome and free, is a good idea”, Serwer said.
He explained that Trump would put in the effort to improve US relations with Russia, giving in on some Russian requests when it comes to NATO, Ukraine and Syria.
“However, I do not believe these will be good relations long-term. Putin does not want good relations with the US. He wants to lead anti-US neo-liberal coalition and have influence in neighboring countries”, Serwer said.
Commenting on Russian influence in Montenegro, Serwer explained it was not over yet.
“Moscow will continue to fight Montenegro in NATO and new administration in the US provides good conditions. Still, I believe Montenegro will join NATO this year”, Serwer concluded.