milo đukanović.jpg
Photograph: EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC

Montenegro has rejected the resolution by which Russia's Duma on Friday opposed Montenegro's NATO admission and warned Podgorica that its NATO entry could only have negative consequences on its tourism, investments and economic cooperation between the two countries, saying that it was Montenegro's right to decide on its own future and that its admission to NATO and the EU would contribute to a greater stability and a more dynamic development of the Western Balkans.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that European and Euro-Atlantic association were the only reliable path towards a greater stability and a more dynamic development of the Western Balkans and the fact that Russia was against NATO enlargement did not mean that Montenegro should adjust its national plans to accommodate that, adding that it was the right of every independent country to chose its own path to the future.

"We see that path as a path into European and Euro-Atlantic association. Our orientation towards NATO membership is nothing new or unexpected, but the result of a consistent policy. We believe this is the only reliable path towards a greater stability and a more dynamic development of the Western Balkans," Djukanovic told the press in Podgorica.

Only Serbian parties in Montenegro welcomed the resolution of the Russian Duma.

Russia on Thursday urged Montenegro to reconsider its NATO bid, assessing that Montenegro's membership would be "rash" and "seriously undermine the traditionally friendly relations" between the two countries, as well as bring into question "the complete work on the formation of an pan-European security architecture ". 

Moscow's message was delivered by Deputy Ambassador in Podgorica Vladimir Gurko, ahead of Friday's adoption of a Russian State Duma's document opposing the accession of Montenegro to NATO. 

Russia's request comes ahead of the meeting of the western military alliance's ministers in early December, when Montenegro should be invited to join NATO.

NATO is expected to decide at a meeting on Dec. 1-2 whether to formally invite Montenegro to join. The United States has backed Montenegro's bid, but Russia -- which has traditionally strong religious, cultural and historic influence in the Balkans -- has been opposed, fueling anti-NATO sentiments among some Montenegrins. Several protests by thousands in Montenegro against the pro-NATO government recently have turned violent.

Related stories

Latest news

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot at a man who apparently rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's president orders cabinet to help Christians escaping Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.

EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin under 24-hour police protection

EU Ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin and her family have been given 24-hour armed police protection due to threats she has been receiving lately, the Austrian paper Der Standard said on Saturday, explaining that the threats were linked to Vlahutin's monitoring of a reform of Albania's judiciary designed to curb corruption in that country.

Italy deports two over suspected contact with Berlin attacker

Italy has deported two Tunisian asylum seekers who have been classed as a danger to national security, the Interior Ministry in Rome said on Saturday.

Croatian PM says HEP IPO most efficient model for INA buyout

Prime Minister and HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday commented on models for buying back Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's stake in INA, saying that an initial public offering of 25% of the HEP power company's shares to obtain funds for INA's buyout was "the most efficient, fastest, simplest and cleanest option with the fewest participants, which enables the state, which is the owner (of HEP), to control the process in its entirety."

Iraqi forces advance in western Mosul amid fierce resistance from IS

Iraqi forces were making advances in western Mosul, entering a new neighbourhood north of the airport, amid fierce resistance from Islamic State militia, a security official said Saturday.

Mugabe says he will not step down as he celebrates 93rd birthday

President Robert Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, marked his 93rd birthday with lavish celebrations in Zimbabwe on Saturday, despite a deepening economic crisis in the southern African country.

Poll: Majority of Greeks want new savings reforms to avoid elections

Over 60 per cent of Greeks are in favour of striking a new deal to unlock a fresh bailout from creditors as an alternative to snap polls, according to a survey commissioned by the To Vima newspaper.

Man commits suicide in protest at high-profile temple raid

A male devotee of a controversial Thai temple under siege by the authorities committed suicide late Saturday in protest at the junta's ongoing occupation of the temple complex, local media reported.

Investor Warren Buffett increases profit by 15 per cent

Profits at business magnate Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm shot up by 15 per cent in the last three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, the company announced on Saturday.