Montenegro closer to becoming a NATO member 41905163

Defence & Security News - Montenegro
Montenegro closer to becoming a NATO member
Montenegro is closer to becoming a full member of NATO after the rest of the member-states’ ministers signed on 19 May the Accession Protocol. As of today, Montenegro will be able to participate in all of NATO’s meetings as an observer and once the protocol will be ratified, the country will be invited to become the 29th member of the Alliance.
Montenegro closer to becoming a NATO member
Montenegrin Prime Minister Milos Djukanovic (left) shakes hands with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (right) after signing the Accession Protocol (Photo: NATO)

On the occasion of this historic day, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “Membership will give Montenegro the ability to help shape NATO policy. It will bring more stability and security to the region, and therefore promoting prosperity.”

After the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO has steadily expanded to Eastern Europe and the Balkan region, reaching to the borders with Russia; a policy that has infuriated Moscow.

Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on Montenegro’s future accession to NATO. She said, “NATO’s latest attempts at changing the military and political landscape in Europe, in particular, in the context of its outspoken policy of deterrence towards Russia, will inevitably affect Russia’s interests and force it to respond proportionately.”

Russia has been pushing for a referendum to take place in Montenegro, in order for the people to decide whether they want their country to become a NATO member. Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, said that the Parliament would be the one to decide whether a referendum is necessary.