Belgrade, Serbia. In a move that will upset the west and cement their relationship with Moscow, the Serb government has jdeclined to join NATO, stating its desire to continue neutrality.

Serbia for now, will will maintain military neutrality, despite the fact that neighboring Montenegro is joining NATO, Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic said.

Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg were all smiles during the signing ceremony of the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO membership. Montenegro may be joining NATO, but Russia has not lost the battle of the Balkans just yet.

“As for our relations with Montenegro, we have good relations with this country, we respect their choice, they do it in the interests of their people.” Serbia, however, maintains an independent policy, remains a neutral state and does not want to enter military alliances, remaining a neutral party, and, of course, will never impose sanctions against the Russian Federation,” Djordjevic said in an interview with the press.

NATO countries on May 19, 2016 signed a protocol on the accession of Montenegro to the alliance, which gives it the status of an observer at meetings. After its ratification by all 28 member states, Montenegro will be able to become a full member of the alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on March 31 that, according to his expectations, all member countries of the alliance will complete the ratification of the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO in June this year.

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