Lajcak: Montenegro as NATO-Member State Means a Lot to Me

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Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (photo by TASR)

Brussels/Bratislava, May 19 (TASR) – Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (Smer-SD nominee) is very pleased about signing the accession protocol between NATO and Montenegro, which took place at a NATO session in Brussels on Thursday.

Lajcak said that Montenegro took part in today’s NATO session for the first time. Now with the signature of the accession protocol, Montenegro will be present at all NATO sessions, it can deliver addresses; however, it can’t vote or make decisions yet.

The Slovak chief of diplomacy stressed that by inviting Montenegro to become a NATO member, the Euro-Atlantic community has sent a clear signal to the Western Balkans. It means that the ‘open door policy’ is still alive and if the candidate countries meet all obligations, NATO will also do what is expected of it.

“I have to say that it’s a big moment for me. Ten years ago, as EU envoy I was doing my best to organise the independence referendum [in Montenegro]. And now, as Slovak foreign minister, I have the honour to ink the accession protocol for Montenegro’s accession to NATO. It’s a success story,” said Lajcak.

As for the length of Montenegro’s ratification process, Lajcak said that each NATO-member state has its own dynamics. Sometimes, it can take more than one year. However, there’s no sense speculating about the length of the process, important is to see that the process runs smoothly.

Lajcak also said that there haven’t been any signals in NATO so far that might hinder the ratification process.