NATO managed to not only shut the Adriatic shores, but, in fact, subjugate all of Montenegro, the former mayor of the Montenegrin city of Cetinje, Alexandar Aleksic, told Sputnik.
Aleksic, now an opposition activist, said that the current situation on the Montenegrin political scene should only be viewed in the context of the new circumstances that have arisen since Montenegro entered NATO against the will of its citizens.
"This decision was made in the US powerhouses hidden from the eyes of weak President Trump. Since his inauguration, the hopes that Washington will change its foreign policy have collapsed like a house of cards," Aleksic said, referring to a raft of rapid resignations from Trump's team.
In this vein, Aleksic quoted prominent American diplomat Henry Kissinger as saying long before Trump's inauguration that "for decades we've been tearing apart the US administrations" and that "it can happen this time, but do not start with it."
"After Montenegro's access to the alliance, NATO not only 'closed' its Adriatic doorstep, but actually took control of all the power ministries in Montenegro; in addition, the alliance takes control of the country's domestic and foreign policy as well as the government and the opposition.
When asked to comment on US Vice President Mike Pence's remarks about Montenegro being a leader of the region, Aleksic said that this leadership has no positive associations.
"Yes, Montenegro is the leader of the region when it comes to the number of dolphins killed off its coast, the volume of imported food, fishing with dynamite, the lack of its own production, [hefty] national debt and inability to control its own airspace," he added.
Aleksic also cited "the minimum number of military and police", as well as "the maximum number of doctors in Montenegro who leave to work abroad for good."
Additionally, he referred to "the lack of journalistic investigations, collaboration between the state apparatus and criminal elements, the number of invented parties suffering from political impotence and the speed of introduction of kidney transplantation operations."
Finally, Aleksic pointed to "the impudence" of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Brian Hoyt Yee who said that the US wants to be sure that neither Russia nor any other country can easily influence foreign and domestic policies in the Balkans.
"So yes, I agree, Montenegro is the leader of the region. With a minus sign," Aleksic said.
When asked how he sees Montenegro's role in NATO, Aleksic said that this role "will be directly proportional to the size and strength of the country."
He recalled that "NATO's army, including both active forces and reservists, has 7,420,000 people, while the Montenegrin army numbers a total of 2,350 people."
"This just shows that Montenegro entry into NATO is really just about geopolitics and geostrategy. The move was taken by the US military and industrial complex which manages empires and decides what is due to be built in Montenegro."
He warned that Montenegro's NATO membership is fraught with destabilization and the strengthening of criminal clans as well as additional debts in the country; according to Aleksic, "the juiciest pieces will certainly go to foreign banks."
On June 5, Montenegro officially became the 29th member state of NATO. The decision was made by the country's parliament, without putting the issue directly to the people in a referendum, as the majority was always against the new military membership.
Podgorica was invited to join NATO in December 2015, in the alliance's first expansion into Eastern Europe in six years.
The Montenegrin government accepted the invitation, causing mass protests across the country. On May 19, 2016, NATO member states signed the accession protocol.