NATO’s Stoltenberg: Accession decision to be taken solely by Montenegro and 28 allies by end of 2015

    Brussels, Belgium (29 April 2015) — ”We are going, as we stated last fall, to make a decision (on Montenegro’s membership) by the end of this year. It is very important to underline that the decison is going to be taken by 28 allies and noone else has the right to intervene, the right to try to veto the process. Whether Montenegro is going to be invited is the question which is only decided by Montenegro and the Allaince,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the press conference following his today’s meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovič in Brussels.

    He added that the focused and intensfied dialogue between Montenegro and NATO is underway, stressing the country has made progress in terms of the rule of law, intelligence sector reform and defence spending. The Secretary General also told the press conference that he is going to pay a visit to Montenegro.

    President of Croatia Kolinda Grbar-Kitarović underlined that her country is highly interested in the open-door policy and enlargement process.

    “We believe that it is a political process and also a process of reforms. That’s very important for the aspiring countries and serves as a catalyst for their reforms, but is also very important for the Alliance, because it strenghtens the Alliance and expands the area of peace, security and stabiliy,“ the Croatian President underscored.

    In that regard, she pledged Croatia’s strong support to the Western Balkan countries’ accession to NATO.

    “We are very supportive, expecially of the accession of our neighbouring countries in South East Europe into NATO… We would like to see invitation extended to Montenegro certinaly before the end of this year to join NATO,“ President Grabar-Kitarović concluded.

    Source: Government of Montenegro