Montenegro Launches NATO Accession Talks in Brussels

© AP Photo / Geert Vanden WijngaertNATO country flags wave outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday July 28, 2015
NATO country flags wave outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday July 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
Montenegro has begun the two-day NATO Accession Talks in Brussels, the alliance said in a statement on Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — NATO said that after the talks the alliance's members were to sign an Accession Protocol that would allow Montenegro to attend NATO meetings as invitee. After the protocol is ratified, Montenegro will become the full-fledged member of the military bloc.

"The talks cover the details of membership including political, military and legal questions, and provide an opportunity for both sides to clarify outstanding issues," the statement reads.

Members of Special Forces Brigade of Montenegro - Sputnik International
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In the post-Cold War era, NATO saw a 75-percent increase in membership – from 16 to 28 members. The 12 new members were all in Eastern Europe, either former Warsaw Pact member states, including three former Soviet republics, or former Yugoslav federal republics.

On December 2, 2015, NATO invited Montenegro to join the military bloc, in its first expansion into Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation the following day. The decision triggered protests in the capital, with some 5,000 opponents taking to the streets.

NATO bombed the tiny west Balkan state 16 years ago when Montenegro and Serbia were part of Yugoslavia.

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