Tillerson Urges Senate to Approve Montenegro's NATO Membership

  • Umay Atik
  • 23.3.2017 15:22

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the US Senate to ratify Montenegro's NATO membership before the May NATO summit, saying it is strongly in the interests of the US in a letter dated 7 March.

Tillerson said Montenegro's accession would support trade, security, greater integration and democratic reforms in the region. Russia opposes further expansion of NATO and the delayed US approval has fueled questions about whether Washington will stand up to Russia. Although the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has already approved Montenegro's accession, several Republican senators blocked the vote in the Senate for months, claiming it would anger Russia. Officials declared no vote has been scheduled yet. Montenegro won the approval of 24 NATO allies by early March and hopes to win the rest of the members' required approval to complete its accession process at the May summit. NATO allies see Montenegro's membership as a way to curb expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans.

 

About author: Umay Atik

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