Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NATO won't offer Montenegro membership this year

BRUSSELS -- Montenegro and Georgia will not be invited to join NATO this year, Secretary General of Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
"We will start intensive and focused talks with Montenegro, and will by the end of 2015 at the latest decide whether to invite it to join the alliance," Rasmussen told reporters at the start of the second day of a session of the Ministerial Council of NATO in Brussels.
Montenegro had hoped to be invited to join in September this year, during a NATO summit.

Speaking about Georgia, Rasmussen announced that instead of membership the country will be offered "a substantial package" that will help it get closer to NATO.

Diplomatic sources at NATO headquarters said that member-states failed to agree yesterday on allowing the two countries to join.

The main opponent to Georgia's membership was France, which took the view that the move would unnecessarily irritate Russia.

When it comes to Montenegro, the opinion is that further reforms, especially in the political arena and in the rule of law, are necessary.

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