Montenegro’s parliament has voted to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, to the consternation of Moscow. The tiny Balkan nations ascension was ratified by the U.S. Congress in March.
As many as 46 out of 81 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill on confirming the North Atlantic Treaty and of a protocol to the Treaty on Greece’s and Turkey’s accession to the organization. The opposition, which has been boycotting parliament session in the recent months did not take part in the voting but held a protest rally outside the parliament building instead, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
All NATO members must ratify the addition of another nation to the alliance. At this point, 24 of 28 current member states have done so for Montenegro. Once all approve, Montenegro will be the 29th.
TASS gave the Russian position and wrote, “Russia insists that NATO’s eastwards expansion has entailed growth of tensions in Europe. This fact was stressed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference on February 18. According to the Russian top diplomat, NATO’s expansion has caused “an unprecedented in the past 30 years degree of tension in Europe.” “Judging by certain statements at the Munich Conference, the cold war is not yet over,” he said back then.”