WARSAW – NATO Deputy Secretary General, Alexander Vershbow, said Montenegro will now sit at the NATO table, where, as an observer, it will be able to join NATO allies in all discussions.
“As an invitee, Montenegro is an observer and cannot make decisions, but it has the right to be heard at the Summit, and to influence discussions. We look forward to being able to welcome Montenegro to all of our meetings in Warsaw”, Vershbow said in an interview for Dnevne Novine daily.
Commenting on the process of ratification of the accession protocol, he said it is not possible to say exactly how long the whole process will take, reminding that during the last NATO enlargement, it took about a year after the signing of the Protocol.
“The ratification process has already begun in Washington, and it is now a matter of the United States”, said Vershbow.
The goal, he said, is to make Europe free and peaceful, noting that no third party, other than NATO members and NATO aspirants, can meddle in its business or decisions.
Montenegro began a new phase with the June invitation, but this, he says, is not the end of the story for Montenegro.
“It is a challenging process and it requires continued reforms, especially to further strengthen the rule of law and the fight against corruption. I am confident that Montenegro will continue to do what is necessary, in view of its firm commitment to join the Alliance and its financial contributions in the past several years in NATO operations”, he concluded.