Montenegro formally joined NATO member at ceremony in State Departiment after submitting ratification instrument in Washington. Prime Minister Dusko Markovic submited ratification instrument of North Atlantic Treaty to Under Secretary Thomas Shannon, making the Montenegro 29th member of the Alliance.
"It is a historic event for a country and a nation which endured enormous sacrifices in the 19th and 20th centuries in order to defend their right to a free life, the right to decide our own future, recognized by the world under our own name, and with our own national symbols," Markovic said.
"We are celebrating today the fact that it will never happen again that someone else decides instead of us and our state behind our back, as was the case in the past,” he added.
"Today, Montenegro joins NATO with a seat at the table as an equal, with an equal voice in shaping our Alliance, and its independence guaranteed," the Secretary General said. Mr. Stoltenberg noted that NATO will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Western Balkans "and the professionalism, bravery and dedication of its men and women in uniform". He stressed that NATO’s collective pledge, Article 5, has kept Allies safe for almost seven decades.
"The accession of Montenegro is confirmation to other candidate countries that NATO's door is open to those who opt for membership," Shannon said.