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    Lithuanian troops along with the other troops from 11 NATO nations take part in the exercise in urban warfare during Iron Sword exercise in the mock town near Pabrade, Lithuania, December 2, 2016.

    Montenegro Defense Ministry Expects Country to Become NATO Member by Spring 2017

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    Montenegro's bid for NATO membership will be put to vote at the country's parliament, where it is likely to be approved, making Montenegro a member of the alliance by spring of 2017, Montenegrin Defense Ministry said Wednesday in a statement.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — According to the document, the defense minister held a meeting with foreign military attaches and told them about Montenegro's plan to protect the country's skies by joining the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defense System.

    "He [Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic] said that the decision to join NATO will be taken by the parliament, where a substantial majority backs the NATO membership… Boskovic expressed certainty that by the spring of the next year our country will enjoy the full rights of the membership of the alliance," the statement read.

    On December 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that NATO could be trying to admit Montenegro before US President Barack Obama leaves the office in January next year.

    Montenegro was invited to join the military alliance in 2015, with the accession protocol signed in May this year.

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