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International community agrees that Serbia-Montenegro should remain one country

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Belgrade, July 4, 2005- Advisor to the Serbian Prime Minister Slobodan Samardzic stated that it is irrational at the moment to pursue the policy of withdrawal of Montenegro from the state union since the international community insists that the state union should be the one to conduct negotiations on EU accession
Samardzic said in a statement to the Beta news agency that it was pointless and irrational to oppose this view and demand a referendum for independence, although, it is implicit that Serbian and Montenegrin citizens have the right to hold a referendum.

According to him, if authorities in Podgorica nonetheless keep insisting on a referendum on the state status of Montenegro, then it must be organised in accordance with international standards, which means that the citizenship criteria must be decisive for achieving the right to vote.

Today the EU, the US and Russia advocate that Serbia-Montenegro remains one country and is assessing, especially in the case of the EU, which is most relevant, that the state union would enter the accession process much faster and easier as one entity than as two separate state members, said Samardzic.

He pointed out that a citizen has the right to vote and stated if Montenegro does not listen to 'the voice of reason', which implies that the state union is achieving interests for both state members better than they are doing separately, then a referendum must be organised in accordance with international standards and the recently adopted Council of Europe Resolution.