The presence of officials of the Montenegrin Government at the ceremony marking the Day of the Republika Srpska (RS) is in sharp contrast to the position of Montenegro as a NATO ally and aspirant for membership in the European Union, the American Embassy in Podgorica assessed.
Ministers of Justice and Finance, Marko Kovač and Aleksandar Damjanović, attended the RS Day ceremony on January 8, where Milorad Dodik, President of the RS, entity of BiH, among other things, awarded the medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US Embassy announced that it was “very disappointed” by the decision of the Ministers of Justice and Finance, Marko Kovač and Aleksandar Damjanović, to attend the celebration of the RS Day, which was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015.
“This move shows great disrespect for the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the embassy told Voice of America.
The embassy reminds that Russian President Vladimir Putin was honored at the ceremony, adding that his war in Ukraine caused heavy destruction and human suffering.
“The presence of Montenegrin government officials at that event is in sharp contrast with the position of Montenegro as a NATO ally and aspirant for EU membership, and with the principles and values shared by members of the Euro-Atlantic community,” the embassy said.
Although the visit of the Montenegrin ministers to Banja Luka caused numerous sharp reactions from the Montenegrin opposition, the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović said on January 10 that he would not replace the ministers Kovač and Damjanović because of this.
He explained that the Government of Montenegro had no part in that visit.
The Vice President of the Government of Montenegro and the leader of the Bosniak Party, Ervin Ibrahimović, yesterday apologized to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo for the presence of the Montenegrin Ministers of Justice and Finance at the ceremony in Banja Luka.