International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Russian Diplomat’s ‘Monkey’ Jibe Angers Montenegro

Montenegro has condemned the Russian ambassador to Serbia, Alexander Chepurin, for likening its aspirations to join NATO to a monkey running after a banana.

The Foreign Ministry in Podogorica said the Russian ambassador’s statement was “absolutely unacceptable, irresponsible and contrary to the standards of diplomatic and interstate communication”.

The ambassador was speaking at the Belgrade Academy for Diplomacy and Security two days ago when he made the off-the-cuff remark.

Responding to a former mayor of Cetinje in Montenegro, Aleksandar Aleksic, who asked whether Montenegro's accession to the alliance could be stopped, Chapurin remarked that there were “monkeys in politics, like everywhere else”.

“Firstly, somebody does it on purpose and then there appear many running after him, hoping to get a banana,” Chepurin replied, adding that he did “not have anybody particular in mind, just a principle”.

Three years ago, the then Russian ambassador in Podgorica, Jakov Gerasimov, warned that Russia would reconsider its traditionally warm relations with Montenegro if it joined NATO.

On Thursday (28.11.2013), media in Podgorica reported that Savo Kentera, from the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, has demanded an apology from the Russian Embassy in Belgrade regarding the latest statement.

Kentera stressed that Montenegro is not a province of Russia, nor will it ever be, and that Russian officials should really "watch their language".

Embassy of the Russian Federation in Montenegro has not officially spoken regarding Chepurin's diplomatic failure in Belgrade.


Dusica Tomovic


Source: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/russian-diplomat-s-monkey-jibe-angers-montenegro


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