Evgenije Popović

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Evgenije Popović (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Евгеније Поповић) (1842, Risan, Dalmatia, Austria-Hungary - 1931, Trieste, Italy) was a Montenegrin statesmen, journalist, diplomat, politician, writer and editor.

Evgenije Popović was born in 1842 on his father's ship in Risan, a town in the Kingdom of Dalmatia of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Though born in Risan, where his parents had settled in before his birth, Popović's origins lies in the Kuči tribe, descending from the Popovići clan of the Drekalović brotherhood. He finished grade school in Trieste as a schoolfriend of Prince Nicholas of Montenegro. He later graduated Law School in Italy, gaining a PhD, and settled his life permanently in Italy naturalized. He was a lawyer in Italy, however, casually engaged in journalism and even the editing of Dirito for a period. He also wrote works on the Adriatic sea and several articles, which were published by local and international press.

Popović was a friend of Italian patriot and member of the Risorgimento, participating in his the detachments of Giuseppe Garibaldi during the struggle for Italian unification. Popović also participated in the Montenegrin-Ottoman War of 1876-1878, where he was wounded twice. Together with several soldiers, Popović reported the events of the Montenegrin-Ottoman War to international press.

Popović was the Montenegrin consul in Rome, Italy from 1897 till 1900, when he became the Montenegrin general-consul in Rome. While consul, Popovic visited a rich collection of Montenegro antiques. He held his position as general-consul until 1917.

After Milo Matanovic resigned from position of PM, King Nicholas invited and appointed Evgenije Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Montenegro in Exile as well as Minister of Internal Affairs at the same time which was a traditional Montenegrin custom, on 11 June 1917. Since the Government has lost most support on the international scene after the break-off of Radovic, Popovic worked actively and hardly to regain the prestige for King Nicholas. He tried to persuade the Montenegrin consul to lobby Nicholas' policy in the United States, however he has already declared loyalty to Andrija's Committee for Unification.

With the liberation of Montenegro from the Central Powers' occupation by the Serbian armed forces after the break through the Balkan Front, Evgenije has attempted to secure the return of Nicholas and the Government to Montenegro on 16 November 1918 at the British Court, but this attempt has met only refusal. Although also failing to secure France's support for Nicholas' return, he has managed to get confirmation that France shall respect the legal Montenegrin authorities in exile and secure that the local military administration shall administer in the name of the King. France also claimed it will remain neutral for Montenegro's internal affairs, respecting the King's authority but also not opposing the desire and free will of the Montenegrin people to decide. Popovic's government and King Nikola have accepted these terms, which henceforth became the basis for the Podgorica Assembly.

Since late 1918 he is no longer in Neuilly, so the position of Minister of Internal Affairs is held by Dr. Pero Šoć. With the end of the Great War, Popovic has lobbied at the Allied Powers' courts and managed to secure a Montenegrin seat for the post-war Paris Peace Conference. After the Podgorica Assembly has declared unification with Serbia and dethroned Nikola I Petrovic, Evgenije has, though a supporter of unification of Serbia and Montenegro, as Nicholas' Prime Minister, dismissed and declared its decisions nullified and void. Popovic has complained to the Great Powers that the decision was illegal, but met little response. Disappointed by Popovic's work, Nicholas replaced him with Jovan S. Plamenac, the organizer of the Christmas Uprising, an event which occurred several days earlier and met Evgenije's condemnation.

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Preceded by
Milutin Mijušković
Minister of Foreign Affairs
29 May 1917–17 February 1919
Succeeded by
Jovan Plamenac
Preceded by
Milo Matanović
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Montenegro in Exile
29 May 1917–17 February 1919
Succeeded by
Jovan Plamenac