The foreign ministers of the NATO member countries and Montenegro will sign on May 19 a protocol on the country’s accession to the alliance, a TASS source in Brussels said on Tuesday.
During the NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels on 19 May there will be a separate meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the Montenegrin foreign minister at which the Accession Protocol will be signed. Montenegro will become a full-fledged member of the alliance after the ratification of this document by all (28) NATO countries and Montenegro, he said. According to him, the ratification process may be completed before the end of this year.
The NATO press service declined an official comment on the forthcoming signing of the protocol, however, confirmed that a separate NATO – Montenegro meeting at the level of foreign ministers is really planned for May 19.
A news conference NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic is also planned to be held on May 19 after the NATO – Montenegro meeting at the alliance headquarters. This indirectly confirms the information about the upcoming signing of the Accession Protocol, since under the existing practice within the framework of the alliance ministerial meetings joint news conferences of the NATO secretary general with the leadership of a third country are held only in exceptional cases.
From the moment of the Accession Protocol signing, representatives of the candidate country get the right to attend all meetings of the North Atlantic Council pending the formal accession to the alliance after the ratification of this document by all the sides.