U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson urged U.S. Senate to ratify membership of Montenegro in NATO, reported Reuters, citing a letter to Tillerson to the Senate.
The letter is dated 7 March. According to the statement, Tillerson, membership, Montenegro will have a positive impact on the stability of neighbouring countries and will meet the interests of the United States.
“The ratification of membership of Montenegro in NATO — it is in the interests of the United States,” the letter reads.
Republican senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul spoke out against a quick formal vote on the matter. Paul said that the adoption of Montenegro means new financial obligations of States with a large debt. Influential Senator John McCain, the head of the defense Committee of the Senate, said that his colleague Paul “works for Putin”. In response Paul said that the 80-year-old McCain “a little crazy” and “in his Prime”.
Membership of Montenegro in NATO is already approved by the international Affairs Committee of the Senate.
Montenegro is expected in 2017 to become a NATO member. The authorities expect a decision on membership in the Alliance to take in a referendum, and to carry it through Parliament, elected after the elections in October 2016.
NATO on 19 may 2016 signed the Protocol on the accession of Montenegro to the Alliance, which provides it with observer status at the meetings. After its ratification by all 28 member States, Montenegro will become a full member of the Alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on February 14 announced that the Protocol on the accession of Montenegro to NATO ratified by 24 member States of the Alliance. The country’s accession to NATO is also supported by the US, but the decision about the timing of ratification by the U.S. Senate this Protocol will take to the Senate, said Stoltenberg.