US Senator: NATO Should Offer Membership to Montenegro

WASHINGTON – NATO should prevent Russia’s spreading influence in the Balkans by reinforcing its positions in the region and offering membership to Montenegro, US Senator from Connecticut and chairman of US Senate’s Subcommittee on European Affairs Chris Murphy said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

“I believe NATO should offer membership to Montenegro as soon as possible,” Murphy said in his speech at Johns Hopkins University.

”We shouldn’t just assume that Montenegro will continue to spurn Russia’s security office, if NATO continues to spurn Montenegro,” he said.

The Senator pointed out that Montenegro’s democracy is still young and the question is whether it will develop “under NATO’s umbrella or Putin’s”.

Murphy said that if NATO does not continue its policy of accepting new states, it will encourage Russia to spread its influence in the Balkans.

“The best signal to send Russia right now is that NATO is open for business and growing along the lines and rules that it traditionally has,” Murphy concluded.

Currently NATO has 28 member countries; the last states that joined the alliance in 2009 were Albania and Croatia.

Source: InSerbia News (Montenegro)