"Some still believe that Montenegro belongs to Serbia"
"It is part of the rule of law and the system of registration of real estate and potential state property, especially given the fact that Montenegro has gone through so much, if I may say , the change of states since independence before the First World War", senior associate at the Center for European Policy Analysis Janusz Bugajski told "Voice of America", commenting on Serbia's reactions to the Montenegrin Freedom of Religion Act.
"I think the country should have a good register of ownership of that property. This does not necessarily mean that the property will be confiscated, but it does mean that we know who the owners are. I will remind you that there is a campaign throughout Eastern Europe to return property to owners, especially Jews who were confiscated during the Nazi occupation, or those who were confiscated during the communist rule".
"I think this is a good process and shows that Montenegro respects the rule of law. I think some members of the Serbian Orthodox Church are overreacting and have to be careful not to let radicals and nationalists use the church to undermine the Montenegrin state", Bugajski said.
The Venice Commission had some recommendations regarding the law and its implementation.
"The Venice Commission is very competent and the government has to take into account the things the commission pointed out during the implementation of the law. However, this does not affect the fact that there is a lot of property that has been confiscated by the Montenegrin Orthodox Church and the independent Montenegrin government and that it must it does not have to mean that the property will be taken back. It may not even have its original owners. But it has to be determined what it belongs to", Bugajski concluded.