milo đukanović.jpg
Photograph: EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC

Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that he was surprised by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic's statement that "Montenegro is intentionally annulling its independence by accepting everything only to ensure its admission to NATO."

Nikolic's interview with the Russian "Sputnik" news agency, in which he said that unlike Montenegro, Serbia was not a state with which one can play, was carried by Serbian media. Nikolic was quoted as saying that by opting for membership of NATO, Montenegro also opts for disagreements with all who disagree with the Alliance.

Djukanovic said on Friday that he had not been acquainted with the contents of the interview. However, "if it is true what media have carried, I cannot but be surprised and wonder if this is a new tone in statements" directed by Serbian state officials to Montenegro, the Montenegrin premier said.

Djukanovic said he would continue to work on improvement of the Montenegro-Serbia relations and would not be deterred by such statements.

Montenegro will continue its journey towards European integration, he said describing his country as the best developed economy in the western Balkans.

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