KALININGRAD (Russia), (Sputnik) — Montenegro's membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) does not bolster the alliance's security and leads to additional costs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said alongside his Slovak counterpart Tuesday.
"This is a geopolitical project at its finest, it does not strengthen the security of NATO, this is obvious. It probably leads to additional expenses for NATO countries because Montenegro will need to be developed in military and technical terms," Lavrov said.
Podgorica was invited to join the 28-nation military alliance in December 2015. Montenegrin authorities accepted the invitation that caused protests in the Balkan nation. On May 19, 2016, NATO member states signed the accession protocol. According to NATO's website, the accession process is expected to finish by June 2017.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concerns over the further expansion of NATO into the east. Last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the political course of Montenegro that sees them joining the alliance without holding a nationwide referendum.