04:33 GMT08 March 2021
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    More than half of Montenegro's citizens do no favor joining NATO, Democratic Front leader Milan Knezevic said Wednesday.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — More than half of Montenegro's citizens are opposed to their country joining NATO, Democratic Front leader Milan Knezevic said Wednesday.

    Knezevic's statement came after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's announcement that the country's accession agreement would be signed on May 19 by the foreign ministers of the alliance's member states and Montenegro.

    "On our request pollsters carried out an unbiased and unprejudiced opinion poll… Answering a question of whether Montenegro should become a NATO member, 45.3 percent said yes and 54.7 percent said no," Knezevic told RIA Novosti.

    He added that nearly 58 percent of the polled Montenegrins wanted a public vote to decide whether Podgorica should join the military bloc.

    "The ruling authorities hurry into to become a part of NATO because they are aware of public dissent," Knezevic said, adding that Podgorica's decision undermines national sovereignty and independence.

    After Montenegro was invited to NATO in December 2015, thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand a referendum on the issue.


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    opposition, accession, NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Montenegro
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