Bradshaw: It depends on Montenegro whether NATO will build bases in its territory

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General Adrian Bradshaw, deputy supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, is pleased with the reforms Montenegro carried out on its NATO path. He says that possible building of military bases on our territory completely depends on Montenegro.

“The reforms are progressing well. Montenegro is on a track to achieve the objectives arising from the Partnership Programme. It is already contributing to NATO operations in Afghanistan and we are looking forward to further support in the future. So, the progress is more than satisfactory – it is good”, Bradshaw said in an interview with RTCG.

He said that it was of crucial importance for NATO to build bases in Montenegro.

“It’s up to you. What we want from Montenegro is its integration into the system of shared values, common standards, its will to expand stabilisation activity in this dangerous world and to collectively confront the threat to the civilised and peaceful coexistence. Montenegro is committed to do that. This is something that will bring benefits to your citizens and the citizens of all member countries of NATO and the world. We do not stand as a block against anyone, but we are rather committed to common values – peace, security, the ability for people to freely express their democratic will, and to live in a peaceful, stable and a safe country. We are gathered here do it together. Montenegro has signed the agreement to be part of it, to be an equal member and it is welcome”, said Bradshaw.

He added that it is on Montenegro to decide what kind of armed forces we need.

“It is the kind you can afford, and we are grateful for any contribution to our collective effort within the framework of NATO. We will help wherever we can and in those areas where you want our help”, said Bradshaw.

He is not sure that the concept of neutrality is possible for Montenegro.

“It is hard for any nation to be neutral against common threats we face in the form of extremism, terrorism and destabilisation. We must face it together. But NATO as a block is not opposed to another block. As I said, NATO is committed to common values, common standards, for peace, security and stability. I believe all this is perfectly in accordance with the old concept of neutrality”, said Bradshaw.

Bradshaw also said how much Montenegro should pay annually.

“Montenegro allocates 1.7% of GDP for defence, pensions included. Across the NATO member states, the aim is to achieve 2%. But not everyone implement this. We always underline that it is about aspirations and aims, and that a country will spend as much as it can allocate”, he explained.

He also pointed out that Montenegro’s membership in NATO is important for stability in the Balkans and this unstable area in general.

Commenting on the negative attitude of the Montenegrin opposition to NATO membership, Bradshaw said they are wrong because as a NATO member Montenegro would be able to influence a common approach to defence and security.

“What you get is access to common procedures, common doctrine, which means more effective defence spending, more effective defence strength. Every citizen of Montenegro has interest when it comes to the security of the region”, Bradshaw said,

Bradshaw also said it is a pity because Russia opposes any NATO expansion in the region.

“I think it’s a pity, because we share many common interests with Russia. It is also under the threat of Islamic extremism. It is also involved in the fights in Syria, in which some NATO member states are involved too… We hope we will be able to overcome the difficulties that we have with Russia due to its actions on the Crimea and Ukraine. We look forward to the day when Russia will once again join the community of nations that respect international law and join us in the common defence and security interests”, said Bradshaw.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro