14:33 GMT +317 August 2019
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    Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic (L) attends a NATO Foreign minister meeting next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on May 19, 2016

    Montenegrins Cherish Friendly Relations With Russia Despite NATO Ambitions

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN THYS
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    Milun Zogovic, a spokesman for the Montenegrin Democratic People's Party (DNP), said that traditionally good relations between Russia and Montenegro should not disrupt because of the immature politics of the current Montenegrin regime.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Montenegro citizens are unwilling to see deterioration of the country’s historically friendly relations with Russia because of the ongoing process of the country's accession to NATO, Milun Zogovic, a spokesman for the Montenegrin Democratic People's Party (DNP), told Sputnik on Thursday.

    On Thursday, NATO member states' foreign ministers signed an accession protocol for Montenegro, granting the Balkan country observer status at alliance meetings.

    "We truly believe that traditionally good relations between our two countries should not disrupt because of the immature politics of the current Montenegrin regime, and that the Kremlin is well aware of the fact that the majority of citizens of Montenegro fosters brotherly love for the Russian people, and cherish them as one of their biggest and closest emotional and historical value," Zogovic said.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry repeatedly warned that the negotiations over Montenegro's NATO membership will harm Eurasian and Atlantic security systems, as well as relations between Russia and the alliance.

    "In many historical challenges Russia was the only faith and hope for Montenegro and our citizens, and we are sure that we will always remain on the same side of history, on the side of freedom, truth and justice, which are our highest common values," he said.

    The signing ceremony, attended by Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, took place at the ongoing two-day North Atlantic Council (NAC) session at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. Montenegro will be granted membership to the alliance once the protocol is ratified by all 28 NATO member states.

    On December 2, 2015, NATO invited Montenegro to join the military bloc, in its first expansion into Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation the following day, which triggered protests in the Balkan nation.

    Related:

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    Montenegro Hopes to Secure Full NATO Membership in 2017
    NATO Member States Sign Montenegro Accession Protocol
    Almost 55% of Montenegrins Against Country's Accession to NATO
    Tags:
    NATO, Montenegrin Democratic People's Party (DNP), Milun Zogovic, Montenegro, Russia
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