Montenegro looks forward to NATO membership

World October 14, 2015 16:54

- Montenegro is confident that the conditions exist for the country's accession to NATO and looks with " optimism " forward to a decision in December. This was said by Foreign Minister Igor Luksic Wednesday prior to a meeting with senior members of the military alliance in Podgorica.

" I am sure that the conditions are in place for the member states of the Alliance to invite Montenegro for membership in December ", said Luksic. The United States have already expressed their support for Montenegro's accession. It would be the first expansion of the western alliance in the ex-communist eastern Europe since Albania and Croatia joined in 2009. Russia sees the expansion of the alliance in the Balkans as a " challenge ". But the accession of Montenegro probably will not cause as much stress as the NATO rapprochement of ex-Soviet state Georgia did before.

Montenegro sees a huge influx of Russian private capital, home buyers and tourists since the breakdown of the union with Serbia in 2006. But relations with Russia long remained uncomfortable through the efforts of the Government of Montenegro towards closer integration with the West. This worsened even more when Montenegro joined the EU sanctions against Russia after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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