Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej and President Aleksandar Vucic agreed on Wednesday that the Serbs in Montenegro were in a much worse position than they were during the Ottoman Empire or the WW II Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia (NDH), N1 reported.
“What is going on in Montenegro wasn’t happening either during the Ottomans or even communists,” Irinej told a joint news conference with Vucic.
He added he believed the aim was to expel the Serbs as Ustashas did in HDH and to destroy the SPC.
Vucic said he understood the SPC view, but that he hoped Irinej was not right about Montenegro’s authorities intention to expel the Serbs.
“We have to be more cautious because we don’t want to do to them what they have done to us,” Vucic said.
He added that “the issue is that politics is interfering in the church’s internal order.”
“We will use all democratic means to inform the international public about what is going on,” the President said.
He told reporters that Belgrade had decided to additionally help the Serb organisations in Montenegro – scientific, cultural and other, except the political ones.
“We’ll do that with full respect of Montenegro’s statehood and independence,” Vucic added.
“We don’t threaten anyone while our nation is threatened. We’ll stand by our people, and there won’t be any more expulsions of the Serbs,” Vucic said.
He alleged there were “some people in the region who believe that our country should be limited to Serbia proper and maybe including (the northern province of) Vojvodina. The others should be some Orthodox Christians who had nothing to do with the Serbs.”
Vucic added that what happened in Montenegro was just the beginning and that “an attempt to create an Orthodox church in Kosovo, then in Bosnia and Herzegovina could be expected.”