Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović: “Montenegro will respect ICJ decision”

Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović stated that his country would respect the decision made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Hague-based UN court is expected to next year give its opinion on the legality of the Kosovo Albanian unilateral declaration of independence.

Montenegro is one of the countries that recognized the proclamation, which Serbia rejected and considers illegal.

“We will respect all the decisions made by international institutions because Montenegro wants to be their reliable partner. We will surely respect the ICJ’s decisions, including the that regarding the Kosovo status. If this decision is explicit enough to send a clear message, we will treat it responsibly,” the Montenegrin president said.

When asked whether opening of Montenegro’s diplomatic missions in Priština will be postponed until the court makes its decision, Vujanović said that Montenegro “has to take care about the interests of its neighbors”.

“Especially Serbia, because we feel distinctly close to it. But above all we have to follow our own interests. We made the decision to recognize Kosovo keeping in mind our integration goals, need of a good communication between Podgorica and Priština, expecting that Belgrade will show understanding…,” he said.

“Now we expect Priština to understand that we have to see to the recognition of the Montenegrin minority in Kosovo and to a clear and verified position regarding the voluntary and sustainable return of refugees to Kosovo,” Vujanović said.

He explained that the government and the ministry in charged were tasked with establishing diplomatic relations.

“In the process of exchanging ambassadors the president has his authorities and I will certainly handle it most responsibly,” he stated.

Vujanović added that considering the size of Montenegro’s territory he did not think that there was a need for more than one Serbian consulate.

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