NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US General Philip Breedlove, said during a visit to Podgorica on Wednesday he was confident that Montenegro would become a new member of the alliance "very soon".
In December 2015 Montenegro was invited to join the alliance, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said recently that accession talks will begin in February 2016.
Accession will be of benefit not just to Montenegro, but to NATO as well, because we will get a country that has proved to be an example of stability in this region, Breedlove said at a joint press conference with Montenegrin Army Chief of Staff Dragan Samardzic.
Your soldiers have not only successfully adopted the NATO standards but have considerably improved their capabilities, which is why I am confident that Montenegro may become a full member very soon, the US general said, citing the involvement of Montenegrin troops in NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
Samardzic expressed an expectation that accession talks would begin in February and end by the end of April.
Breedlove also met with President Filip Vujanovic, National Assembly Chairman Ranko Krivokapic and Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.