18:48 GMT21 January 2021
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    Montenegro's decision to join NATO will only add to the prevailing political, social, and economic instability in the country, the leader of the Montenegrin Movement for Changes (PzP) party told Sputnik Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump signed the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO, which was the final step in ratifying the document.

    "Making such an important decision as the one on the NATO membership in the country, in the parliament, which is being boycotted by the opposition, means a new contribution to the instability of Montenegro," Nebojsa Medojevic said.

    The lawmaker said that the opposition was certain that a referendum on NATO membership was necessary and would continue its efforts to promote this option.

    According to Medojevic, the country has been embroiled in a political crisis with a paralyzed political system, non-functional parliament and opposition being pressured by the state.

    "I have to warn our political colleagues in the West that making this decision within the Montenegrin parliament would be a mistake and it would benefit neither NATO, nor Montenegro," Medojevic said.

    The lawmaker added that the decision, which was made "during political paralysis," could not be legitimate.

    Montenegro was invited to join NATO on December 2, 2015, in the alliance's first expansion into Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation the following day, an act which triggered protests in the Balkan nation. In May 2016, the Alliance members signed a protocol on Podgorica's accession to be ratified by all NATO member states before becoming a full-fledged member.

    In late January, the country’s prime minister said Montenegro expected to become a member of NATO before the alliance's next summit in May, despite the opposition's calls to hold a referendum on the issue.

    Last month, US senators voted 97-2 on Washington's Senate floor in favor of Montenegro's membership of the 28-member military alliance. This marked an important step for the Balkan country's inclusion into the international defense organization.


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