Atlantic Voices, Volume 5, Issue 12 – December 2015
By formally inviting Montenegro to begin the accession talks, NATO has opened itself to a seventh round of enlargement. The last two countries to join the Alliance were Albania and Croatia in April 2009.
Montenegro’s invitation stands in line with NATO’s Open Door Policy , defined in Article 10 of the Washington Treaty. The door is open for European states who respect the rules of democracy and rule of law, share the Euro-Atlantic values and are able and willing to assume the responsibilities that come with NATO membership. By becoming a member, Montenegro will therefore be protected by Article 5 but will also have to contribute to the Allies’ security efforts.
Montenegro’s location makes it a great asset for the Alliance which has been expanding its role in the Balkans since the collapse of Yugoslavia. The invitation has, however, not been positively perceived by Russia who has reiterated its willingness to maintain its leadership on its former sphere of influence.
More than anything, Montenegro’s invitation to join NATO must be seen as a sign to the Western Balkans that the Alliance sees them as potential allies.
- All Roads Lead West
Ms. Milena Savovic analyzes the efforts demonstrated by the government of Montenegro since their independence in 2006 to implement deep reforms of the country’s political, economic and defense system in the hope of joining the Euro-Atlantic organizations.
- The Game of Influence: NATO-Russia Relations Today
Mr. Robert Ivitsa Shushich focuses on how Montenegro’s eagerness to join NATO has been putting a strain on NATO-Russia relations as Moscow is strongly opposing NATO enlargement in the Balkans.