MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Monday, Montenegro has officially become a party to NATO during a ceremony in Washington, DC. The accession ceremony was marked by the handover of the instrument of accession from Montenegro’s Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic to US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.
"Montenegro’s accession sends a message to all the states that seek membership, that if a country travels the path of reform, embraces democracy and the rule of law and proves itself willing and able to contribute to our collective defense, sharing the responsibilities as well as the rewards then it too can join the alliance," Stoltenberg told reporters.
On April 25, US President Donald Trump signed the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO, which was the final step in ratifying the document.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concerns over the further expansion of NATO into the east. Last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the political course of Montenegro that sees them joining the alliance without holding a nationwide referendum.