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Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic for B92:Changes needed regardless of referendum

Published date: 04.04.2006 11:50 | Author: Intervjui

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Changes needed regardless of referendum

BELGRADE -- Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that the federal union cannot continue to exist in its current form, regardless of the outcome of the Montenegrin independence referendum in May.

Djukanovic told B92 that Montenegro has created a document of obligations which it must adhere to if it gains independence, adding that he is not hiding his optimism that the referendum will end successfully. One of the main reasons Djukanovic mentioned for wanted independence is that he does not believe that a two-member union can effectively and rationally commit to the European goals of both Serbia and Montenegro.

I would have a big problem now if I tried to convince someone rationally that Serbia and Montenegro should stay together in the circumstances that they find themselves in today. I think that the largest argument is that we have been experimenting for 15 years with various forms of a two-member union and that the source of this experiment shows that Serbia and Montenegro are seriously lagging behind in completing that which has been stated as our strategic national interest. Djukanovic said.

The Montenegrin Prime Minister said that he is preparing himself diligently for the day after the referendum and that this is why Montenegro has created the document of all obligations that will take effect once independence has been gained after May 22.

The first obligation is towards the European Union. We wish to continue intensive discussions with the EU as soon as May 22, so that we would not lose even one day in finalising the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which we expect to have finalised by November of this year. Djukanovic said.

The document will also include discussions with the Serbian Government regarding new relations after the referendum, in order to get across all internal divisions and eliminate any chance of one side claiming victory and the other defeat. Djukanovic added that the Montenegrin Government will pay close attention to the amount of state resources being used for the referendum campaigns and added that he has done everything to ensure that both sides will have equal starting points in the race towards the referendum.