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Georgia, Ukraine Await Positive Signals of NATO Open Door Policy

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirFlags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016.
Flags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
Georgia and Ukraine are anticipating the accession of Montenegro to the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) at its June summit in Warsaw, indicating NATO’s commitment to an open door membership policy, officials from those countries said on Wednesday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks after a NATO-Russia Council at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Later this month, NATO is expected to make its decision on granting Montenegro full membership in the 28 defense nation alliance.

"Out of Warsaw we are expecting a very clear signal of the integration process of Georgia and membership integration process, and also clear signals about the practical ways how to strengthen… our cooperation and partnership," Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze said at an Atlantic Council event on NATO enlargement.

Ukrainian Member of Parliament, Hanna Hopko expressed Ukraine’s support for Montenegro’s membership, and requested members of the alliance to "be more pragmatic in supporting new members new potential candidates to become members of the NATO community."

Estonian army exercises. (File) - Sputnik International
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The officials emphasized the importance of NATO’s open-door membership policy, in light of their own country’s leadership pursuing a path to become full members of the alliance.

Both Georgia and Ukraine are currently NATO partners and regularly engage in military training and capacity building exercises with the alliance. Montenegro will be the first new state to join the alliance since 2008, if the alliance unanimously agrees on its accession.

Russia has repeatedly opposed the expansion of NATO along its borders in recent years. In May, Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko warned that Georgia’s bid to join NATO carries colossal risks and would be a blow to European security.

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