Brussels, Belgium (15 February 2016) — Montenegro began negotiations on accession to NATO today, the official website of the Alliance reads.
“Montenegro marked an important step on its road towards NATO membership on Monday (15 February 2016), beginning two days of Accession Talks in Brussels. The talks cover the details of membership including political, military and legal questions, and provide an opportunity for both sides to clarify outstanding issues,” the website states.
The negotiations will be followed by the signing of an Accession Protocol, after which Montenegro will be able to attend NATO meetings as an invitee. Following the ratification of the protocol, Montenegro will accede to the Washington Treaty and become a full-fledged member of the Alliance.
The talks are being chaired by NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Terry Stamatopoulos. The Montenegrin delegation will be headed by the country’s Ambassador to NATO Dragana Radulović.
Opening the talks, Ambassador Stamatopoulos said: “The holding of the Accession Talks today is a mark of the progress made by Montenegro since regaining its independence. NATO membership will reinforce Montenegro’s security and sovereignty.”
Defence Minister of Montenegro Milica Pejanović-Đurišić said in an interview that the negotiations will probably last until April.
Montenegrin negotiating team includes representatives of the ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the National Security Agency, the Directorate for Protection of Classified Information and the Mission of Montenegro to the Alliance.
Minister Pejanovic-Djurisic also noted that negotiations do not differ much from the previous course of integration.
“There is not much difference compared to the MAP (Membership Action Plan) process, it is only a slightly modified dialogue, but with constitutional areas to be additionally treated. They are the rule of law, fight against organised crime, and public support”, the Montenegrin Defence Minister concluded.
Source: Government of Montenegro