BELGRADE, October 17 /TASS/. Police in Montenegro cracked down on protesters in the center of the republic’s capital of Podgorica with tear gas and percussion grenades on Saturday night.
According to Radio and Television of Montenegro (RTCG), police used tear gas and percussion grenades to prevent protesters from Montenegro’s Democratic Front to break police cordons set up outside the Montenegrin parliament. The city center is totally blocked. Branko Radulovic, the parliament’s vice-speaker, and Deputy Nebojsa Medojevic have been injured.
The Democratic Front demonstrators took part in a protest march against the policy of Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, including his plans to join NATO, on Saturday after police had bulldozed a tent camp, which the protesters set up outside the parliament building 20 days ago. Witnesses said the police had brutally beaten the demonstrators and arrested several people. According to the protests’ organizers, Premier Milo Djukanovic a personal order to crack down on the camp.
Nebojsa Medojevic, a member of the Democratic Party’s governing board, said that his party had gathered evidence of numerous election rigging and claimed that the Djukanovic-led government was, therefore, illegitimate.
"We want the Djukanovic regime to fall and an interim government formed. We want the first honest and fair elections to take place for the first time in 26 years. Our country is in deep economic and political crisis. We suggest a civilized way out of this situation," Medojevic stressed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also commented on the tent camp crackdown in Podgorica on Saturday. "There is an impression that the purpose of Montenegro’s accelerated movement towards NATO simultaneously implies the suppression of alternative approaches," the ministry said.
"The latest events in Podgorica are regretful. We have stressed it many times that Russia is interested in stable and prosperous Montenegro. At the same time, it is impossible not to see that despite all assurances, which the Montenegrin leadership is receiving from Western countries, the country’s inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic structures is not leading to its consolidation and prosperity. On the contrary, it has polarized the /Montenegrin/ society both politically and ideologically and has aggravated social and economic problems," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.