Brussels – NATO invites Montenegro to join the aliance. The permanent envoys of all 28 NATO member states have approved of Montenegro’s bid to join the alliance, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.
“The text of the request has been approved by the permanent envoys and needs to be confirmed by the ministers of foreign affairs,” the source told RIA Novosti.
NATO-member foreign ministers will convene in Brussels later on Tuesday for a two-day meeting and will decide Wednesday morning on the issue of Montenegro joining the alliance.
Montenegro may become a NATO member in a year and a half, a diplomatic source said.
Earlier NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said he could not confirm the decision because it was up to the grouping’s foreign ministers but he commented positively on the prospect.
“Montenegro has come a long way on its path to join the Euro-Atlantic family,” he told a briefing ahead of the meeting.
“Extending an invitation to Montenegro to start accession talks would be a historic decision. It would signal our continued commitment to the Western Balkans,” he said.
The offer is expected to come after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28-nation alliance in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is just a formal invitation that will confirm the decision of NATO and its state members to invite Montenegro to join the alliance.
So Montenegro has being invited to join North Atlantic Alliance and it will be its full member soon.
Most of the former communist states of the Soviet-era Warsaw Pact have joined NATO, starting in 1999.
Balkan states Croatia and Albania were the most recent countries to join, in 2009.
(CNN) – 02.12.2015 – NATO has formally invited Montenegro to join the alliance, a move that’s spurred threats from Russian officials at loggerheads with NATO over everything from Ukraine to Syria to Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane.
The official invitation, announced Wednesday by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, triggers the start of accession talks, according to the alliance.
While it comes at a time of heightened tensions between NATO and Russia, it didn’t happen out of the blue; it’s the result of a process that began nine years ago.
“Today, we proudly receive a #NATO membership invitation,” said Montenegro’s President Milo Djukanovic, according to his government’s Twitter feed. “This is a historic day for #Montenegro. The most important (since) the 2006 (independence) referendum.”
Viktor Ozerov, the chair of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, told another state news agency that Russia will end military and technical cooperation with Montenegro if its membership becomes official.
“Montenegro should recognize that a lot of programs that have been previously realized by it with Russia … will be impossible in the context of its NATO accession,”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that Montenegro’s possible accession to NATO “is not new,” having been in the works for years.
Kerry – “Moscow shouldn’t worry”.
(RT) – NATO foreign ministers have agreed to invite Montenegro to join the military alliance. The move is likely to lead to further deterioration in NATO’s relations with Russia, which sees the alliance’s expansion eastward as a threat to its national security.
Jan Oberg of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research told RT:
“This is the wrong moment given the situation between NATO and Russia. The West needs Russia in Syria and elsewhere. Secondly this is provocative… I see it as a sign of weakness. There is no particular reason why Montenegro at this point should get this invitation if an alliance of so many countries, with so many weapons seem to be very proud of getting a small more or less corrupt country into NATO without a referendum there, it is really a weak alliance if they feel that they can do some chest beating because of this.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “It a‘provocation.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:
Peskov declined to say what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do about the Montenegro invitation, but he emphasized – “Now, there are other priorities.”