On Thursday, Montenegro was granted an observer status in the alliance after NATO member states’ foreign ministers signed an accession protocol for the country.

 

Montenegro will be granted full-fledged membership after the protocol is ratified by all NATO country members.

 

“Of course, there is the risk of unnecessary involvement of Montenegro in problems, dangers and temptations over the Middle East,” Milic told Sputnik.

 

He added that there is no need for the country’s full-fledged NATO membership. According to the politician, his party will insist on a nationwide referendum on the issue.

 

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned that the negotiations over Montenegro’s NATO membership will harm Eurasian and Atlantic security systems, as well as relations between Russia and the alliance.

 

The signing ceremony, attended by Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, took place at the North Atlantic Council (NAC) session at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

 

One of the key issues of NATO’s current agenda is the deployment of additional forces to Poland and the Baltics.

 

“The importance of this forward presence is not that it’s going to be so very big but the importance that it is a multinational presence sending a clear signal that we stand together united,” NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

 

“They [NATO] want to come closer to the borders of Russia and China. They show the accession of Montenegro to NATO as a message to Russia and other more eastern countries, but especially to Russia, that ‘we are [the] bosses here.’ They just want to go further in[to] this zone of influence, which was traditionally in Russia’s [sphere of] influence,” Marko Milacic, the executive director of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro, told Sputnik.

 

On December 2, 2015, NATO invited Montenegro to join the military bloc, in its first expansion into Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation the following day, which triggered protests in the Balkan nation.

 

 

 

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