Podgorica, Montenegro (11 June 2015) – “Integration is not an easy path. It demands real and strong commitment, and it demands real change, but it can be done. And Montenegro is making real progress,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the press conference earlier today in Podgorica following his meeting with Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Đukanović.
NATO acknowledges Montenegro’s contribution to international security and regional cooperation, its participation in peace keeping mission in Afghanistan and financial support for the Afghan National Security Forces, as well as its commitment to common values and pursuing reforms necessary to join the alliance, Secretary General Stoltenberg underlined.
He added it is of high significance for Montenegro to do what needs to be done and to demonstrate it is ready to become a “valuable” member of the alliance, namely to strengthen the rule of law and further build public support for the membership.
“We re-confirm that we are ready to make the decision by the end of the year at our foreign ministerial meeting in December,” Mr Stoltenberg reiterated in Podgorica.
He concluded by saying that “joining the Euro-Atlantic family is a win-win for Montenegro and for NATO. Nations that joined the alliance have strengthened their democracy, improved their security and made the lives of their citizens safer. And in addition, they have made NATO stronger,” the NATO Secretary General said.
Recent intensive diplomatic activities have resulted in better understanding of Montenegro’s aspirations to obtain the membership invitation by the end of 2015 and in making evident reform progress, in particular in the priority areas of the rule of law and public support for joining the Alliance, Prime Minister Milo Đukanović told the press.
Montenegro has done a lot in the recent period, he explained. It has implemented laws in the intelligence sector and advanced human resources policy in agencies that are part of the intelligence system in Montenegro. It has also intensified cooperation with all NATO member states in these fields, implemented legal novelties in the rule of law and made extensive efforts towards increasing public support for joining NATO, PM Đukanović stated.
“I wish to thank Mr Stoltenberg and his team for understanding rightly how important Euro Atlantic integration of Montenegro and the countries of the Western Balkan is for more reliable stability of this part of the European continent, and for pledging unselfish assistance and support to overcoming reform challenges of this phase of the Montenegrin society,” Montenegro’s Prime Minister Đukanović pointed out following his meeting with the NATO Secretary General in Podgorica.
Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the press conference in Podgorica
Questions of journalists and answers by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Source: Government of Montenegro