Montenegro has been sent a clear signal that it will be the next member of NATO, and probably the only one in the near future, writes today the Moscow daily Kommersant, adding that Podgorica figures this will not aggravate relations with Russia.
The newspaper adds in their article titled “Missing link found in NATO – Montenegro is the next member of the Alliance” that some members of the Alliance remain indecisive when it comes to enlargement. The paper adds it is becoming increasingly difficult to “digest” new members and that it may be a new irritant in relations with Russia, but also that despite this, many politicians and experts believe that the chances of Montenegro’s accession into the Western military alliance are big.
The daily quoted a diplomatic source from one of the NATO countries specializing in the Balkans, that Montenegro is “an ideal candidate” and that in the near future, no other country has a real chance of accession.
Kommersant also writes that recent opinion polls in Montenegro show, for the first time, that the number of citizens who want Montenegro in NATO exceeds the number of opponents.
The paper adds, citing sources from Montenegrin leadership, that Podgorica expects joining the Alliance won’t corrupt relations with Russia.
“First of all, we never obscured our plans from Russia. Secondly, Moscow is strict against its neighbors’ accession in NATO. Thirdly, Russia sees a threat in bringing the military infrastructure of the Alliance near its borders, but Montenegro is not planning to deploy military bases on its territory”, the source told the newspaper.
The source also added there are a number of countries in NATO that have excellent relations with Russia and that “Moscow should be interested in increasing their numbers”.
Kommersant further writes that Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, believes relations between Montenegro and Russia should not be worsened after accession in NATO.
The daily said Djukanovic congratulated the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the Russia’s national Day, by stating Montenegro’s joining the Alliance “will in no circumstance be an obstacle to the development of relations with partners and friends such as Russia”.
Izvor: RTV Montenegro