Anti-NATO activists in Montenegro, led by the opposition Democratic Front (DF), have begun protesting in the city of Cetinje, the historical capital of the country, where the parliament is currently convened to vote on the ratification of the nation's NATO membership, Radio and Television of Montenegro (RTCG) broadcaster reported on Friday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The meeting of the parliament began at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 GMT) and is being attended by the country’s president Filip Vujanovic and members of the government. The majority of the parliament (81 members) are supporters of NATO integration.
The protesters have gathered not far from the city’s Skupstina (parliament) and are under tight police control. The leaders of opposition claim that the number of protesters would be considerably higher if the police hadn't blocked the roads leading to the city, with one of the opposition lawmakers Nebojsa Medojevic calling the actions of the police "a shame."
Montenegro was invited to join NATO in December 2015, within the first expansion of the alliance into Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation on December 3, 2015, triggering protests in the country. The protocol on accession was signed by alliance members in May 2016, which then needed to be ratified by all member states.