The idea, first initiated by the Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico, has been brought up again after the last Thursday’s European Parliament’s (EP) session. That’s when MEP’s said that Montenegro was displaying readiness to become an EU member through daily reforms.
They pointed out the great Russia’s influence on the processes in Montenegro and urged the competent authorities in the country to examine the Russian meddling in the October elections as soon as possible.
A few days ago in Sarajevo prime minister Duško Marković said that an urgent response was needed and that the EU and not someone else should be present on the Balkans.
Marković added that he sometimes gets the impression that there is prevailing opinion that the enlargement process will take place, albeit slowly and routinely, regardless of turbulence in the European Union and despite the strong influence of the so-called third parties in the Western Balkans and finally, despite the strengthening of anti-European forces in the region.
“My belief is that the Western Balkans cannot join the EU slowly or routinely,” said Marković.
He expressed the hope that, despite its challenges, Europe will step up its presence in the region and that the enlargement process will be slowed down for formal, bureaucratic or any other reasons that are not substantive, but that the EU will rather promote a well done job in every state in the negotiating process, thus keeping its doors open for the Western Balkans.
As a reminder, the PM of Slovakia Robert Fico has pointed out his new idea several times that the European Union should speed up the receipt of at least one candidate country from the Western Balkans in order to give impetus to others in the region and that it could be Montenegro.
Slovak prime minister also criticized those in the EU who are against enlargement and warned that a credible enlargement policy is an effective instrument for political and economic transformation in Europe, Slovak TASS news agency reported.
In addition to EU members, Montenegro has the strong support of the United States. The US Senate is expected very soon to vote on the Montenegro-NATO accession protocol. At least 98 out of the 100 senators support the protocol adoption.
The unambiguous US support is also shown in the statement of senator John McCain, who accused Russia of meddling in Montenegro’s internal affairs.
“Russia tried to stage a coup in Montenegro to kill its prime minister and overthrow the government in order to prevent it from entering NATO. Moscow should be sent a message that it has no right of veto over NATO enlargement,” said McCain.
He also said that Montenegrin membership in NATO would improve security in the Balkans, which he labelled unstable. He said that preventing Montenegrin membership would represent a significant turn in US foreign policy and acceptance of the increasing Russian influence in the Balkans.