Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic denied in an interview to NewsMax Adria claims that the country’s new government is pro-Serbian and anti-Montenegrin, adding that those claims prove that any cabinet official is on the side of the former authorities.
He said that there has been no standoff between the government and President Milo Djukanovic but added that the reforms are slow because “the previous authorities drafted laws to suit themselves as if they would be in power for 100 years”. He said that the reform of the security services is a priority as a lesson learned from the October 5 changes in Serbia (when the Milosevic regime was toppled in 2000) to prevent what he called “a black scenario” as in Serbia. “We can’t let the security services stay at the same level… They were a central point for Milo Djukanovic’s system,” he said. “We don’t want a witch hunt but no one will be protected,” he said.
According to Abazovic, there is no country closer to Montenegro than Serbia. He expressed regret over the fact that relations between the two countries are the current low level. He said the government in Podgorica would have to start building those relations from scratch. “As peoples we will never start from zero. We want the best possible relations with Serbia,” he said.
Abazovic said that Podogrica and Belgrade will have to organize bilateral visits very soon and added that the rebuilding of relations should start with Serbia extraditing former senior Montenegrin state official Svetozar Marovic to Montenegro. Marovic has been charged with a number of crimes committed while he was in power and fled to Belgrade to avoid prosecution. Podgorica requested his extradition a few years ago.
He said that the goal of the government is to fight corruption and organized crime. “We will publish every disputable document. We might not be able to prosecute every former official but we can tell the population the truth about everything,” he said.