Montenegro: Decision to join NATO internal matter

The Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MVPEI) on Wednesday reported that the country's institutions, primarily parliament, would decide to ratify its membership to NATO and that it was not up to any third party to take a stance on this issue.

That was Montenegro's response to a statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry and carried by the Russian state news agency, Tass, in which Russia insists that Montenegro's accession to the Alliance should be subject to referendum.

A spokeswoman in the Russian foreign ministry Maria Zakharova said that the situation in Montenegro was difficult. This is an internal political crisis accompanied by protests. That means that deep divisions still exist in Montenegrin society, above all, with regard to the question of the country joining NATO, she said.

Moscow believes that Montenegro's citizens should go to referendum and as Zahkrova said, this would be a demonstration of democracy.

Officials in Podgorica however, think otherwise."Montenegro's institutions, above all, parliament, will decide on membership to NATO and in that regard it is not up to third parties to express their stance on how institutions need to react to internal issues," the Montenegrin ministry said.

Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic on Monday said that there was no legal obligation or political need to call a referendum on the country's accession to NATO and that that decision was in the remit of parliament.

Last update: Wed, 16/12/2015 - 17:54

More from Balkan

Greek parliament approves 2017 budget

The Greek parliament approved the government's 2017 budget on Saturday evening, the parliamentary steering committee...

Bulgarian cargo train explosion kills five, injures 29

Five people died and 29 were injured in Bulgaria on Saturday when a freight train hauling gas tanks derailed and...

Mladic's defence claims he is innocent

The defence for former Bosnian Serb war-time commander Ratko Mladic said on Friday in a closing statement before the...

Bosnian Croat military police officer gets 10 years in jail for war crimes in Orasje

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sentenced, pending appeal, a former commander of the Military Police of the...

Bosnian businesses expand halal production, eye exports

 Bosnian banks, food producers and hoteliers are adopting halal standards to tap a fast-growing market thanks to the...