President refuses to appoint an ambassador to Pristina until Montenegrins obtain ethnic minority status in Kosovo.
“I will neither sign the decree on the appointment of Montenegrin ambassador nor receive credentials from Kosovo's ambassadors until Montenegrins in Kosovo are recognised as a minority [in Kosovo]," Filip Vujanovic, Montenegro's head of state, said on Thursday.
Last week, the Montenegrin government said it would open an embassy in Pristina, in a move described as a confirmation and further encouragement of good relations between the two neigbours.
Montenegro recognized Kosovo's independence in October 2008 and two years later, the two countries established diplomatic relations.
However, Vujanovic has in the past conditioned an exchange of ambassadors on recognition of Montenegrins as a minority and on their authentic representation in the Kosovo parliament.
On Thursday he said that Atifete Jahjaga, Kosovo’s President, had pledged to meet his demands soon.
Slobodan Vujicic, chairman of the Association of Montengrins from Kosovo, said that according to the last census which Kosovo’s authorities recognize, in 1981, over 27, 000 Montenegrins lived in Kosovo.
Meanwhile, many had left for Serbia and Montenegro or were now assimilated into the Serbian and Bosniak communities in Kosovo, Vujicic said.
Out of 120 seats in Kosovo’s parliament, 20 are guaranteed for minorities - namely the Serbian, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian, Turkish, Gorani and Bosniak communities.
At the beginning of the year, the Kosovo authorities promised that Montenegrins and Croats would obtain the same status.