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October 14, 1991
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 3

Interview: Nikola Petrovic Njegos

In all the interviews in recent years You have maintained that You have no interest in politics, only in culture. Do You still feel the same?

Yes. The politics in its strictest sense is not my concern. I have stated earlier that only the violation of human rights, violence and dictatorship could involve me in politics. This is precisely the case in Yugoslavia today. I have to make my personal views known. I must at least try to give a kind of advice to avoid the worst possible solution.

When the driver sees that he took the wrong route, he stops the car and changes to the right one, doesn't he? And when the worst possible scenario presents itself, it should be obvious that politics has no meaning. Take Montenegro, for example. It always had a heroic streak, not only for myself but as a symbol of freedom, something noble. To see now the reputation of Montenegro being degraded to such an extend! That is incredible. It is a catastrophy. In the twentieth century the glory is not achieved by sword, but by the cultural, economic and technological means. When the time for the settling of accounts comes, the cost will be high. am afraid that it a shame to be a Serb or a Montenegrian in Europe today.

You have recently sent an appeal for peace in Yugoslavia. Is that politics? Do You expect to be criticized or rejected?

I am perfectly aware of the fact that such an appeal comes as a shock to most people. That will make the contacts with people more difficult. It is easier to be on good terms with everyone. But from personal reasons, above all, I had to send a clear peaceful appeal to avoid all ambiguity. They say that no Petrovic was an opportunist - let us keep that tradition.

Besides, I feel I am privileged, because of my name and because of the fact that I live in Paris where there is no risk. I think I should say aloud what many think but cannot say. It may be an exaggeration, but I think that is expected of me. Of course, I am not hereby accusing anyone, I am not a political arbitar, I only want to stress that the issues being addressed are totally wrong and that they belong to a Napoleon era. It is up to the Yugoslavs themselves to find the answers to the political questions in Yugoslavia.

After such an appeal for peace, would You come to Yugoslavia and participate in the peace campaign?

I would not get involved in the political campaign or head any movement, or become a party leader - in a word, I would not like to become a political figure. But in an exceptional situation, when the defence of certain principles is called for, human rights and alike, I might come. The struggle for peace in Yugoslavia today is a hard and noble cause. And dangerous, so it seems. In any case, I have not participated in such protests in a long time and I could be consumed by the leftist nostalgia. Let us go back to the political involvment. Today it is the matter of basic principles: how can one in human capacity respond to such a dramatic situation? How to help innocent people who are being haressed? This is the reason I would not be equally kind towards everyone: that is a moral question. Everything else is obsolete. I am sorry that the situation is developing in this direction - I would be much happier to have stayed in culture. That is why I am disappointed: my personal mission did not succeed, but I, along with other Yugoslavs, accept to face the present situation in my own way.

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