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Expansion Continues: Now, It is Montenegro's Turn to Join NATO in 2015

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoThe NATO symbol and flags of the NATO nations outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Sunday, March 2, 2014
The NATO symbol and flags of the NATO nations outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Sunday, March 2, 2014 - Sputnik International
Montenegro may join NATO already before this year is out, Russian media reported Monday, citing a source at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference after a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Defense Ministers session at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2015 - Sputnik International
NATO to Decide to Invite Montenegro Into Alliance by End of Year
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been expanding eastward ever since the 1992 Soviet breakup. Almost all former members of the now-defunct Warsaw Treaty Organization, and the three ex-Soviet Baltic republics joined NATO between 1999 and 2009.

Poland earlier said that during its July 2016 summit in Warsaw NATO would invite Montenegro and Macedonia to join the alliance.

“Montenegro is an ideal candidate,” the source told the Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper, adding that no other country had any real chances of joining the Western defense alliance any time soon.

The newspaper also quoted a government source in Podgorica as saying that Montenegro was the only non-NATO country in the Adriatic and that NATO membership was seen as the only way to ensure the country’s security.

According to the newspaper, the Montenegrins expected an invitation to join in during the NATO summit in Cardiff in September 2014, but eventually decided to bring the matter up at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in December 2015, without waiting for the next NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016.

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