On March 24 2016, peoples of former Yugoslavia commemorated the 17th anniversary of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. On this day Montenegrins came to the Republic Square in Podgorica to take part in the anti-NATO mass protest called "Don't forget".
It was organized by political party "New Serb Democracy" and political coalition "Democratic Front". The rally gathered several thousand Montenegrin citizens. Among them representatives of "Democratic People's Party" (DNP), "Workers' Party" (RP), the peace movement "No to war, no to NATO", as well as other political and social organizations that oppose country's membership in the alliance.
It wasn't the first rally in Montenegro. Since last September mass protests were held throughout the country. People demand the resignation of the current prime minister Milo Djukanovic, who remained unchallenged in power since 1991, and a referendum on Montenegro's joining NATO.
However, according to organizers, the protest on March 24 was special, it became the tribute to the memory of victims of the NATO aggression. One of the leaders of the "New Serb Democracy", Slaven Radunovic pointed out that veterans and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church came to support the national protest. Radunovic emphasized that the protest action is intended to remind about the NATO aggression that took place 17 years ago, and to prevent the recurrence of such actions.
Leaders of "New Serbian Democracy" Andrew Mandic, "Democratic Front" Milan Knezevic and "Workers' Party" Janko Vucinic, as well as the Yugoslav and Serbian actress, social activist Ivana Zigon and other religious and social figures made their statements.
The Serbian Orthodox Bishop of the Eparchy of Budimlja and Niksic Ionnaicius (Joanikije Micovic) after the service for those killed during the NATO aggression, said: "Montenegro's accession to NATO is a shame. An accession to those who poured our streets with blood. It is a step to ensure that we have become an anti-Serb and anti-Russian country. We do not need any foreign military structure here, we do not need Montenegro in alliance with NATO. And if they will come, they will come as occupiers, like criminals who always return to the crime-scene".
Montenegrin social activist Nebojsa Yushkovic noted that Djukanovic's attempts to "drag" Montenegro into NATO need to break up Montenegrins and Russians."17 years ago a dark angel descended on our country. Death reigned and tormented our small but proud land. We have struggled with the most powerful enemy in history. Until now, we are suffering from diseases due to depleted uranium. The authorities want to make a deal with the devil, and enter a military alliance, to kill people in Libya and Iraq along with them. They turned their backs on Russia, that has always been a strong support for us. We should never be alongside fascists and murderers! I would like to convey greetings from a Russian General Leonid Ivashov and the Russian patriots," – said Yushkovic. In return, participants of the rally began chanting "Russia! Russia!!!".
It is not surprising that not all the inhabitants of Montenegro, which has historically been considered an ally of Russia, have a positive attitude toward the idea of joining NATO. At the same time, the governments of these countries openly disregard public opinion and implement plans for NATO integration.
The fact that a couple of thousand of Montenegrin soldiers will not strengthen the military bloc is quite obvious, as well as the fact that membership in the alliance will only worsen the country's economic struggle. Why then does the alliance headed by Washington so desperately tries to draw Podgorica? A former Pentagon spokesman J.D.Gordon recently stated in an article posted in Washington Times: Montenegro must be included into NATO, so the "Russian bear" won't get it.
Thus the opinion Montenegrins does not bother the alliance. NATO has a very efficient tool to achieve this goal - the current Montenegrin PM Milo Djukanovic, also known to be one "godfathers" of the Balkan mafia. Too much has already been said and written about the people's attitude toward their permanent leader. And not only on media pages, but also on Montenegrin city squares. And the closer Montenegro gets to NATO, the more people take to the streets to demand PM's resignation and reelection of the government.
The 17th anniversary of NATO bombing of Yugoslavia Montenegrins came to the centre of Podgorica and claimed that they remember how NATO was knocking on their doors in 1999, how innocent children, women and elders were indiscriminately killed. And now with a cynical smirk Brussels offers Montenegrins to betray the memory of the victims of the alliance's aggression. The problem is that Montenegrins don't believe NATO promises of a "better life" and don't fear the myth of the "terrible Russian bear".