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Interfax.com  |  Interfax news  |  Moscow warns Montenegro of possible consequences...


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November 23, 2015 12:05

Moscow warns Montenegro of possible consequences of joining NATO - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax) - Moscow has warned Montenegro of possible consequences of its accession to NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry European cooperation department director Andrei Kelin said.

"Relevant work is being done," he told Interfax in reply to a questions what measures Russia takes to avoid this scenario.

It is hard to say what the NATO foreign ministers will decide on the admission of Montenegro to the alliance at their meeting on December 1-2, he said.

Russian State Duma foreign affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov believes that attempts are being made to artificially drag Montenegro into NATO.

"We are dealing with the artificial dragging of Montenegro into NATO," Pushkov said, while presenting in the State Duma meeting on Friday a draft address to the parliament of Montenegro, the parliaments of the NATO countries and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

Pushkov said a majority of Montenegro's population does not support the intention of the country's administration to enter NATO and protests against such prospects being developed in the country.

Pushkov said that Western countries, primarily the U.S., are ready to turn a blind eye to any violations, including of people's will, to drag Montenegro into NATO.

"Montenegro does not have a majority that would support the country's accession to NATO," the politician said.

Later on Friday the State Duma issued a statement urging Montenegro not to join NATO.

"State Duma deputies are addressing their counterparts, the members of the Montenegrin Skupstina [parliament], the parliamentarians of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] member-states, and the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to urge them to refrain from NATO's enlargement, which, according to media reports, is planned following an official invitation to Montenegro to join the alliance scheduled for early December 2015," the Duma said in a statement on Friday.

The document reaffirms respect for each country's sovereign right to ensure security of its citizens by all lawful means, including through concluding international treaties and joining international organizations and associations.

At the same time, the Russian parliamentarians emphasized that "a bloc-based approach to security and involvement of new countries in military alliances, especially contrary to their people's will, are a political tool dating back to the Cold War era."

This approach, inter alia, is likely to upset the balance of forces and undermine confidence between entities building a common European architecture of peace and stability, the statement says.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the possible accession to Montenegro to NATO should be considered without the involvement of other countries. External pressure may only make NATO's desire to make Montenegro its member stronger, he said.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

/Interfax/
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