The Italian and Norwegian parliaments on Tuesday ratified a protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO, press service of the Montenegrin government said.

 

“#Italy’s Chamber of Deputies has ratified the Protocol on #Montenegro #NATO Accession, thereby completing national ratification. Thank you!” the press service posted in its Twitter account.

 

 

The press service added that earlier in the day, Norway’s parliament had also ratified the protocol.

 

Montenegro was invited to NATO in December 2015. In May, NATO member states signed a protocol on Montenegro’s accession to the Alliance, which gives it the status of an observer at the meetings. The ratification of the protocol by all the national parliaments of NATO would open the door for the Balkan state to become a full-fledged alliance member.

 

Russia has condemned NATO’s expansion efforts since the end of the Cold War, noting the alliance’s growing presence at the borders of Russia poses a threat. Russian officials have however noted that Montenegro’s membership will not significantly strengthen NATO’s political or military potential.