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BELGRADE, August 1. /TASS/. US Vice President Michael Pence’ tour of Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro aims to add fuel to an anti-Russia propaganda campaign and sends a signal to the regional countries that the policy of sanctions will continue, Montenegrin politician Marko Milacic, one of the leaders of the country’s political opposition told TASS on Tuesday.
Milacic, a journalist by profession leads the Resistance to Hopelessness political movement, which the incumbent Montenegrin authorities view as pro-Russian, pro-Serbian and anti-NATO.
Pence arrived in Montenegro on a two-day visit on Tuesday. The country’s state television has touted his arrival as a milestone historic event, "since the US President is an American official of the highest rank to visit the country over a century since the establishment of diplomatic relations."
Montenegro and the US established diplomatic relations in 1905 but Montenegro broke them off in 1921 after accession to the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in 1921. They were resumed in 2006, and proceeding from this fact the Montenegrin government marked the 105th anniversary since the establishing of diplomatic ties with Washington in 2010.
"It’s quite obviously that Pence’s tour of Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro seeks to boost the anti-Russian sentiments in these territories and to pin the NATO flag to the map of the country in the case of Montenegro," Milacic said.
"The timing of Pence’s visit is not at all accidental," he continued. "It fell on a period when the U.S. is working hard to toughen the sanctions against Russia. Pence has encompassed the Baltic region, Georgia and Montenegro into the trajectory of his visit quite conscientiously. The choice of these countries shows the US plans to go on with unfolding the anti-Russian policies."
"On the diplomatic plane, that’s a signal to everyone suggesting a warming of relations between Moscow and Washington we hoped for isn’t in the cards," Milacic said.
On the face of it, most Montenegrins are not at all glad to see Pence in their home country. Reason number one is the pushing of Montenegro into NATO against people’s will and without a referendum in collusion with the Montenegrin authorities. Number two is the US-led aggression against the country eighteen years ago in defiance of a UN Security Council resolution. Milacic recalled that the US strikes killed three Montenegrin children then and no one has been held responsible for the atrocity to this day.
Besides, according to Milacic, Pence is the national of a country, the Administration of which has for many years given support to the last European autocrat, the seven-times Prime Minister Milo Djucanovic.
"At present, it is supporting the caretaker of the prime-ministerial seat, the perfunctory Prime Minister Dusko Markovic."
As one of the reasons for the tour, Malcic named the US striving to rely on new and more loyal vassals from among the countries bound for the EU and/or NATO membership or the countries that got it recently.
"The US relies on Eastern Europe, as it is known since a long time ago the region plays a key role for control over the continent," the politician said. "Sir John Mackinder, the founder of geopolitics said that he who controls Eastern Europe controls Eurasia and he who controls Eurasia, controls the whole world."
"Now the US has again turned to the eastern part of Europe," Milacic said. "It started with Ukraine and now they [the Americans] are doing the same to other regional countries because they see discontent with the anti-Russian sanctions, first and foremost in Germany and the across the entire ‘old Europe’."
America uses visits of the kind as a ploy for recruiting new, more obedient vassals who would show exemplary obeisance, he indicated.
Preparations for the ‘historic’ visit of the top-rank guest from across the Atlantic were marked by great care in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica. Apart from a standard set of security measures, the authorities decided to close the Golubovci airport for all flights for several hours, to close the road leading from the airport to hotel Hilton for the whole day and to block all the nearby roads.
The guards of honor dressed up in red uniforms rehearsed the red-carpet meeting at the airport day and night and U.S. banners decorated the whole 11 km long route from the airport to the hotel.
A big group of security men from the US joined the Montenegrin police and security services.
The Hilton will become the venue of a summit conference of the so-called Adriatic Charter, with the heads of government from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, and Croatia expected to attend it. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic will come to the meeting, too.
On Wednesday, Pence is supposed to have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Western Balkan nations, after which he will leave Montenegro.