Home Page
 
news 05 Jun 17

Montenegro Set to Become NATO's Newest Member

At a ceremony in Washington on Monday, Montenegro will hand over an accession document which will mark its final step to joining the Western military alliance.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica
 
 Montenegrin PM Dusko Markovic. Photo: gov.me

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic is to officially hand over the accession document at a ceremony on Monday in Washington, after which the tiny Adriatic country will become the 29th NATO member.

The accession process, which lasted almost seven years, will end on Wednesday when Montenegro's flag is to be hoisted for the first time at NATO headquarters in Brussels. 

With an army of around 2,000 soldiers, Montenegro is the first new NATO member in nine years, after Croatia and Albania joined in 2008.  

Ahead of the ceremony in the US, the government in Podgorica said that the country had reached a “civilisational turning point, attaching itself to the Western system of values”.

"Montenegro’s NATO membership will support greater integration, democratic reform, trade, security, and stability with all of its neighbours," the government said.

In a separate statement, the US State Department said that Montenegro’s accession "reaffirms to other aspirants that NATO’s door remains open to those countries willing and able to make the reforms necessary to meet NATO’s high standards, and to accept the risks, responsibilities, as well as benefits of membership." 

On April 28, Montenegro's parliament ratified the country's NATO membership much to the outrage of the large Serbian community in the country, and many Montenegrin Serbs demonstrated against it. 

While MPs were voting, thousands protested outside the old royal palace in the town of Cetinje where the ceremonial session took place. 

The Serbian community is particularly opposed because of NATO's role in bombing Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, to force Belgrade to withdraw its forces from its then province of Kosovo.

Montenegro’s NATO membership also has angered its traditional ally Russia whose ties to Orthodox Christian Montenegro date back to the reign of Peter the Great.

Montenegro meanwhile accused Russia of being behind an alleged coup attempt last October aimed at toppling the pro-Western government and derailing NATO accession.

Moscow denied the claims.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

leader-of-eu-greens-slams-bulgaria-over-ski-resort-expansion-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

vucic-visits-kosovo-to-benefit-politically-experts-say-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?

Latest News from the Balkans

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again

19 Jan 18

US Seeks to Revoke Bosnian's Citizenship

18 Jan 18

Bosnia MPs Challenge Excise Law in Court

18 Jan 18

Blizzards Cause Turmoil in Romania and Moldova