Due to aggravating tensions on relation Podgorica-Belgrade caused by the Proposal of the Law on Freedom of Religion, specific portals seem to strive bolstering them, thus, creating an illusion for their readers.
Specific media outlets tendentiously gave a sensational note to the participation of the Army of Montenegro in Immediate Response 2019 (IR19) exercises, held in the period from May 10th till June 7th this year on the territory of Croatia. Hence, NATO exercises that have nothing to do with current affairs were used to add fuel to the fire.
Montenegro spat on Serbia and the Serbs on Kosovo! What its soldiers did there has no trace of cojstvo (the act of defending somebody from yourself, a term coined by Marko Miljanov to characterize Montenegrin people), as written by portal Espreso. On the following day, the portal IN4S published the same news with partly edited text and the altered headline: Scandal: Montenegrin soldiers wear flags of the so-called Kosovo and Albania on their uniforms, and during the following days portals Vidovdan and Nacionalist followed them with similar headlines.
It is evident that the author of the text deliberately missed the fact that there is a general practice for the NATO Member States to wear symbols of other countries participating in the international exercises. Therefore, there is nothing scandalous or sensationalistic in that information.
The second military exercise, Adrion Livex 19 took place from June 18th till June 28th in the Port of Bar. It was hosted by the Army of Montenegro with a view to enhance cooperation and strengthen interoperability among the naval forces of the Adrion initiative.
Thus, the portals IN4S and Barski portal portrayed the presence of the Member States’ ships as a pressure imposed on Serbian Orthodox Church and the petition of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral against Government’s Proposal to the Law on Freedom of Religion and Legal Position of Religious Communities. According to them, it is evincive that NATO ships remain in Montenegro specifically till Vidovdan, 28th of June (St. Vitus Day), which is the period until the citizens can sign the petition in churches across the country.
It was omitted that the exercise was preannounced on May 30th, i.e. 15 days before the gathering on Trojicindan in front of the church and launching the abovementioned initiative. Bombastic headlines: Aggression military ships in Bar till Vidovdan and Power demonstration: NATO ships in the Port of Bar till Vidovdan tendentiously promoted with accentuated intent to raise panic in public served as another mean of maintaining tensions between the two countries.
DFC investigated and found out that in the published photo from this year’s IR19 exercise was Croatian backpack, not Montenegrin, as it was tendentiously intended to seem and provoke intolerance of readers. The analysis of the camouflage uniform design confirmed that it was infallibly the backpack of the Croatian Army, since the detail dominating the uniform represents actually the relief of the Republic of Croatia.
Another confirmation is an Instagram account of one of the members of the Croatian Army, who published a photo of the backpack, which is identical to the one in the disputable photo.
It is clear that the intensifying of relations between Montenegro and Serbia is further stimulated by such and similar announcements, focusing on current Montenegrin issues: judgment of two Russians in court proceeding of coup attempt, sending of the officers of the Army of Montenegro to celebrate anniversary of Storm Operation, and presenting the Proposal to the Law on Freedom of Religion as an attempt to take the property of Serbian Orthodox Church.