Montenegro Joins NATO as 29th Member

Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center, shakes hands with U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, right, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during an accession ceremony at the State Department in Washington on Monday June 5, 2017. Shawn Thew / EPA
Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center, shakes hands with U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon, right, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, during an accession ceremony at the State Department in Washington on Monday June 5, 2017. Shawn Thew / EPA

Montenegro officially became the 29th member state of NATO on Monday. The ceremony, presided by US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, hosted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic handed the Protocol of Accession to Shannon during the ceremony, confirming Montenegro as the newest member state of the ever-growing alliance.

Since 1991, NATO went from 12 to 29 member state regrouping many Eastern European countries who were under the Soviet Union. For an Alliance based on countering the USSR, NATO has been marching eastward ever since and has no intention to stop.

This NATO video confirms the alliance’s door remains open for countries such as Georgia which is located in the Caucasus and share a border with Russia. The accession of Georgia to NATO would cause an escalation in the discord between the latter and Moscow.

Moscow, in this instance, would feel even more threatened by an alliance that keeps saying its expansion is not aimed at countering Russia’s influence in the region. However, NATO’s plan is to impose its own Western views and undermine Russia’s ability to conduct diplomacy with its neighbour. Russia would then feel both threatened and encircled by an alliance that had the goal of countering the Soviet Union which fell in December 1991, almost 16 years ago.

Buildings burn in Podgorica, Montenegro, following a Wednesday attack
Buildings burn in Podgorica, Montenegro, following a Wednesday attack in 1999.

Unfortunately, the confirmation of Montenegro’s status as a member state only fuels the diplomatic confrontation between Moscow and NATO. When the Montenegrin parliament approved the country’s accession to the alliance back in April 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement that said the decision to join NATO was conducted without asking the nation’s opinion.

“Following the parliament’s decision of April 28 on Montenegro’s joining NATO, we have to state with deep regret that the current leaders of that country and their Western patrons have failed to heed the voice of reason and conscience,” the ministry said.

“Adoption of fundamental acts concerning basic issues of the state’s security through voting of separate lawmakers on the basis of a formal majority without asking the nation’s opinion is a demonstrative act of violating all democratic norms and principles,” the ministry stressed.

The Montenegrin parliament voted 46 out of 81 in favour of joining NATO. The opposition boycotted the voted and held a protest rally outside the parliament.

According to Moscow, NATO bombings of Yugoslavia — Montenegro was part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia until 2006 — claimed many Montenegrin lives and nearly half the population who were against the country’s accession to the alliance were ignored.

 

 

 

Facebook Comments

Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.