Podgorica, Montenegro (19 November 2015) — On the occasion of today’s statements at the media briefing made by deputy ambassador of the Russian Federation in Montenegro Vladimir Gurko that “Moscow is seriously concerned over Montenegro’s course towards an accelerated integration into the North Atlantic Alliance,” and the invitation “to consider once more all the ‘benefits’ and ‘shortcomings’ of a hasty accession of Montenegro into the Alliance,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration communicates the following:
Since restoring its independence, Montenegro has set membership of the European Union and NATO as its strategic foreign policy priorities.
Our commitment to joining NATO, which has its foundations in the constitution, is intended to contribute to the strengthening of stability and security, as well as further economic development of Montenegro and the region. For this reason such commitment by Montenegro is supported by all our neighbours and partners in the region.
Along those lines, in the previous period we have launched an open and substantial public dialogue in which all parties concerned were given an opportunity to express their views with regard to our Euro-Atlantic path. All public opinion surveys done over the past few months in Montenegro show a steady and indisputable growth of public support for NATO membership, which is a product of a comprehensive and substantial dialogue about this issue that has taken place in Montenegrin society.
Furthermore, we have always communicated our opinions on this issue clearly, openly, and unambiguously to all our partners, including Russia, underlining the sovereign right of every State to set its foreign policy course. Therefore, a NATO invitation would be a result of steady and consistent application of the foreign policy priorities which have been set right after the restoration of independence, and are therefore nothing new or unexpected for our partners.
Our NATO integration is in the best interest of the citizens and is not directed against anyone, and in the spirit of the centuries-long tradition and friendship Montenegro seeks to develop and improve bilateral relations with Russia.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION
Source: Government of Montenegro