13:35 GMT08 March 2021
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    Montenegro is moving closer to becoming a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) member, but more reforms and public support are needed, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) – The secretary-general, who was on a two-day visit to Montenegro, stressed that if Montenegro joins NATO, it would be a win-win situation for both sides.

    "Full implementation of the reforms is a key and demands a strong commitment, but it can be done. Montenegro is taking the right steps and I encourage you to further build public support for membership," Stoltenberg said on Thursday as quoted on the Montenegro government website.

    In his turn, Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic expressed confidence that his country would join NATO in the near future.

    "It is important to ensure the continuation of reforms by December and afterwards. We have many reasons for optimism that in such an atmosphere we will be able to achieve our goals," Dukanovic said as quoted on the Montenegro government website on Thursday.

    On Monday, the United States announced that it was prepared to extend an invitation to Montenegro to join NATO in December, during the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, provided that the country continues implementing reforms and working to increase popular support for membership in the alliance.

    Goran Danilovic, a member of Montenegro’s opposition Demos party, told Sputnik Serbia on Tuesday that the decision on Montenegro accepting a membership invitation from NATO should not be made without holding a national referendum.

    NATO, Montenegro
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