Montenegro became the 29th NATO country. “This event is a consequence of the many years of efforts of the government and the people of Montenegro to join the Euro-Atlantic community of nations,” said US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon at the ceremony of joining Montenegro in the alliance.
“Today we have become part of the most powerful and most successful alliance in the history of NATO,” Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister of Montenegro, wrote on Twitter.
The choice of Montenegro is important for security in the region. “The accession of Montenegro will also positively influence the stability of the western Balkans and the region,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “This is a powerful signal to the region and a signal to our allies that the United States strongly supports the principle of collective defense, as evidenced by Article 5 of NATO,” Shannon confirmed.
The entry of Montenegro into NATO reduces Russia’s influence in South-Eastern Europe, and will limit the possibilities for its access to the so-called “warm seas” in Europe, which could be used for military intervention in the Middle East, Western media note.
NATO doors remain open – assured at the welcome ceremony. “The entry of Montenegro confirms to others that NATO’s doors are open to countries that are willing and able to make the necessary reforms to meet NATO’s high standards and take risks, responsibilities, and the benefits of membership,” the State Department said in a statement.
“The entry of Montenegro sends a signal to all countries that want to become members of NATO, if the country is really reformed, to support democracy, adheres to the rule of law, strengthens its military viability and contributes to collective security, it can also join the alliance,” Stoltenberg assured.