Montenegro Expects to Join NATO Soon

Filip Vujanovic, Montenegro’s President, said he expected NATO to invite his country to become a full member at the alliance’s next summit due to take place in 2014.The President of Montenegro expressed his country’s expectations in a speech given on Monday at the plenary session of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Prague, highlighting that the new government remains dedicated to joining the alliance.

Following the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia in the Nineties, after several hundred thousand deaths and the creation of millions of refugees, collective security is the only guarantee of long-term stability in the Balkans, Vujanovic said.

He recalled that Montenegro joined the Membership Action Plan, the final step towards an application for membership, in 2009, adding that three years later the country received high grades for its defence reforms.

Despite low levels of public support for the bid, full NATO membership is one of Montenegro’s foreign policy priorities.

The government recently adopted a new communication strategy, aimed at attracting more public support for its NATO integration plan.

The last alliance summit was held in May in Chicago, but enlargement was not on its agenda.

Only two Western Balkan countries, Albania and Croatia, joined the alliance so far, receiving an invitation for membership at 2008 Bucharest summit.

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