05:26 GMT +318 November 2018
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    A members of NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR) holds the NATO flag during the change of command ceremony in Pristina on September 3, 2014.

    Unclear How Montenegro NATO Accession to Boost Alliance's Security - Lavrov

    © AFP 2018 / Armend Nimani
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    Russia regrets that Montenegro has decided to join NATO and sees no clear benefits of it for the alliance's and the country's security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Balkan nation is expected to join NATO in 2017. The authorities plan to decide on the membership not through a referendum, but through a parliament elected in October 2016.

    Montenegro was invited to join the military bloc in 2015. In May 2016, the Alliance members signed a protocol on Podgorica's accession, which should be ratified by all the NATO member states to allow Montenegro become a full-fledged member.

    "Unfortunately, Montenegro has yielded to the ultimatum ‘either with NATO, or with Russia’ and decided to sacrifice relations with our country, damaging its economic interests… It is absolutely unclear how NATO's security will benefit from Montenegro's accession, and it is absolutely unclear how Montenegro’s security will benefit from it," Lavrov said.

    Earlier in March, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko told Sputnik that Montenegro's dragging into NATO was an attempt to show that the open door policy was alive, however, many understand its erroneous nature.

    In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that NATO used an alleged threat from Moscow as a justification for its expansion. Several countries are actively negotiating NATO's accession, including Georgia and Ukraine, among others.

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    NATO, Sergei Lavrov, Russia, Montenegro
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