The most pro-Russian NATO member
Montenegro is the country that is the most pro-Russian of all NATO members, the report of the GLOBSEC study concludes.Source: RTCG
The study deals with Russia's influence on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans.
The results of the report are based on public opinion polls, and the population of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia was surveyed.
The Russian narrative targeting NATO in a negative context in Montenegro has met with a good response and has been widely accepted, the report said. According to that document, the majority of Montenegrin citizens believe that Russia is a brotherly country, which is why they accept the rhetoric that presents Russia as a victim.
According to the findings of GLOBSEC, Montenegro's support for the West is 35 percent, while 25 percent of respondents in the country are oriented towards the East, which is by far the highest percentage of all countries covered by the survey. For the interlocutors of "Pobjeda", this information is not surprising because, as they say, there are many reasons - from historical to currently political, and in the end, identity-ideological.
They state, however, that today, when Montenegro is a NATO member, there is no need to look for an imaginary protector in Russia. Pretensions towards the EU and NATO are a kind of political and economic transition of the countries of the post-communist bloc.
However, the report estimates that there is also post-communist nostalgia motivated by the opinion that life was better before 1989, after which there were changes in communist regimes. As a result, the perception of Russia as a strategically important partner for the future appears.
Young people in Montenegro, like their peers from Serbia, Hungary and Northern Macedonia, often see Russia as a strategic partner.
"The explanation is probably in the fact that they (young people) were born significantly after the end of communism, which is why they more often become victims of pro-Russian and anti-Western policies. The citizens of Montenegro, 38% of them, believe that Russia is the most important strategic partner.
"Of all nine countries in which the survey was conducted, 59 percent of them see Russia as the dominant partner," the GLOBSEC report states. When it comes to Montenegro, 60 percent of respondents believe that NATO is provoking Russia by surrounding it with military bases, while 44 percent think that Russia is provoking NATO by initiating conflicts within Eastern Europe.
Historian Milos Vukanovic sees the reason for such statistics in the fact that no one in Montenegro has experienced aggression from Russia in his lifetime. On the other hand, Vukanović reminds, the NATO intervention from 1999 is still alive in the consciousness of the citizens, but also in the mass culture.