"Even a politically illiterate person can discern Slobodan Milosevic's intention to endanger Montenegro through political destruction. He does that in various ways, but all of these attempts have been and will continue to be unsuccessful. They will certainly continue in the future. As long as Milosevic remains in power, and I hope that will not be for long, he will try to stop the process of democratization in Montenegro, which is harmful for him. He requires two conditions to conduct a military coup: the Yugoslav Army must be manipulated and instrumentalized to achieve someone's political goals and Montenegro must be impotent to prevent that. While I believe that the first condition is impossible, I am certain that Montenegro will be able to defend itself. Therefore, the speculations about a military coup in Montenegro are simply that - speculations," emphasized Djukanovic.
Djukanovic had an adamant reply to the question whether a quiet, creeping coup was taking place in Montenegro: "Neither open nor a creeping coup is taking place in Montenegro. We agreed at a recent meeting of the Montenegrin leadership that all civilian institutions were functioning normally."
According to Djukanovic, objections regarding the allegedly too high number of policemen, coming from the other side [the largest opposition party, Socialist Peoples Party, allied with Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia], can only be an indication of ignorance or bad intentions.
"Who can be surprised by a mobilization of the police reservists in the conditions where the stability and peace in Montenegro are endangered? Only those who do not care about peace and stability. The Police is acting in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and has my full support," the president of Montenegro was adamant.
Reiterating his conviction that there will be no conflict within Montenegro, Djukanovic said that that would be guaranteed by the pacifist mood of the majority of population and their prudence.
"If something like that did happen, that would be the most tragic and violent conflict so far in the former Yugoslavia. Both us and Yugoslavia, and even this region, need a peaceful, multiethnic and open Montenegro," said Djukanovic.
He asserted that Montenegro hasn't contributed to the genesis or the escalation of the Kosovo crisis but that, as a part of Yugoslavia, is suffering from the drastic consequences of the NATO strikes.
"The bombs which are falling on Serbia, killing innocent people and destroying assets built by generations of hard working people in this country, are also hurting Montenegro. Montenegro is also hurt by the malice of those who have today decided that the equality in the Yugoslav Federation, patriotism and solidarity are measured by the number of NATO missiles. The very same individuals who equate sanity and different opinion with treason. Of course, Montenegro has not, nor it will in the future betray. Neither Kosovo, nor brotherly Serbia, nor Yugoslavia. Montenegro simply refuses to follow a deadly policy which has resulted with the expulsion of Serbs from Krajina, which has destroyed the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia-Hercegovina, which has plunged Serbia and Montenegro into poverty, which has endangered the survival of Kosovo in our country and which has prepared for us such a finale: we enter 21 century in bomb shelters under a rain of NATO bombs. To refuse to follow such a policy cannot be treason. On the contrary, it can only be a voice of reason and a real chance for FRY," said Djukanovic.
He again appealed that additional efforts be made to renew the negotiating process in connection with Kosovo.
"Montenegro supports all current peace initiatives anywhere in the world, from Moscow, Bonn, to Vatican and United Nations. We also urge Belgrade to stop to defy using other people's lives and respond to realistic peace initiatives. Yugoslavia is today crucified between two absurdities: the policy of its regime, which in order to preserve its power is prepared to destroy the whole state, and the NATO intervention, which in order to punish that policy is also prepared to destroy that very same state. In such a situation all our efforts to preserve peace and our democratic project which is the only chance not only for Montenegro and Yugoslavia but also for the whole Balkans region, can easily be destroyed," said Djukanovic.
Djukanovic also emphasized that there can be no victor in such a tragedy:
"All of us have lost. Yugoslavia lost thousands of human lives and material resources which have been built by generations of Yugoslavs and are essential for its future development. The International Community has also lost by demonstrating its diplomatic and political impotence which has forced it to reach for a bombardment in the heart of Europe. The biggest looser is democracy," concluded Djukanovic.