Serbian Ambassador to Montenegro Zoran Lutovac returned on Tuesday evening to his office in Podgorica. He was called back to Belgrade in mid-January following a decision by the Montenegrin government to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo.
Montenegro recognised Kosovo’s independence on October 9, 2008, one day after the UN General Assembly accepted Serbia’s draft resolution to place the case of Kosovo’s unilaterally proclaimed independence before the International Court of Justice, ICJ.
Serbia then asked Montenegro to postpone the establishment of diplomatic links with Kosovo for a few months, or until the ICJ released its opinion.
After much discussion about the right moment to establish diplomatic relations with Kosovo, Montenegro’s government announced on January 15 that its foreign minister, Milan Rocen, had exchanged letters with his Kosovo counterpart, Skender Hyseni, signalling the establishment of diplomatic links between the two countries.
Immediately after, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic ordered the withdrawal of Serbia’s ambassador to Belgrade for consultations.
Serbian President Boris Tadic said that relations between Serbia and Montenegro were worse than before and that both countries should work on their improvement.
“Serbia is ready to turn a new page in its relations with Montenegro, which means respecting the legitimate state interests of both countries,” the daily quoted him as saying.