Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama released a video message of support to Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic on Wednesday, a few days before the August 30 parliamentary elections.
Speaking in Serbian (a variant of which is spoken in Montenegro) at the start of the message, Rama lent support to Djukanovic’s ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) saying that the two kindred countries have deep, special ties as do “the two kindred parties as well as my links to Djukanovic”. He said that the decisions to be taken in the next few days by Montenegrins are very important to Albania and the entire region.
“It’s not up to me to judge what you (Djukanovic) have not yet done for Montenegro, I leave that to your people… What I can say (to the people of Montenegro) is that without a doubt what Djukanovic has done for Montenegro and the region should be the pride of every citizen of Montenegro,” he said and warned that the risk of regression is always present. Rama said the coming elections are decisive for Montenegro.
Montenegro was one of the first countries to recognize Kosovo, a decision received badly in Serbia. Djukanovic and his government have also been in a serious dispute with the Serbian Orthodox Church since the introduction of a law on religious communities which the church and critics in Serbia say could lead to the seizure of some church properties.
Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin reacted to the messages of support for Djukanovic by Rama and Thaci, saying that “it’s no secret that they are drawing the borders of Greater Albania and see themselves as masters of Montenegro”.
Rama’s words were echoed by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci who called Albanians living in Montenegro to vote to strengthen the country’s EuroAtlantic orientation.