12:35 GMT24 November 2020
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    The government of Montenegro has voted in favor of a resolution to join NATO.

    NATO ministers are set to hold a meeting in December, during which the question of Montenegro's membership might be addressed.

    Anticipating this, the current Montenegrin government hastily passed a resolution stating its willingness to join NATO.

    Meanwhile, opposition parties have argued for the need to have a national referendum on such an important issue, because the majority of Montenegrin citizens want their country to stay neutral.

    "NATO is a serious organization, and I don't think they would want to be in a ridiculous situation in which a country will join NATO with one government, but when the administration changes — suddenly leave the alliance… In Montenegro, more than two thirds of the citizens oppose NATO, so it's necessary that the will of the people is taken into account," Andrija Mandic, the leader of one of the main opposition parties, New Serb Democracy (NOVA), told Sputnik.

    Moreover, even most Montenegrin citizens who support their country's NATO membership agree that a national referendum should take place.

    Unfortunately, the current Montenegrin government will do everything possible to avoid a referendum and fast-track the country into NATO membership against the will of most Montenegrins, said Vladislav Dajkovic, the leader of the Movement for the Neutrality of Montenegro.

    "[A referendum] should be held in a free and democratic environment, but it's impossible while the current government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic is in power. We doubt that a referendum could even be honest. Most likely its results will be falsified," Dajkovic told Sputnik.

    The leader of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro also questioned the point of passing the resolution now, as NATO is yet to extend Montenegro an official invitation.

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    Tags:
    NATO membership, referendum, Milo Djukanovic, Vladislav Dajkovic, Andrija Mandic, Montenegro
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