Trump congratulates Montenegrins for their commitment to NATO values

US President Donald Trump signed off on Montenegro’s accession to NATO, White House confirmed. Thus, the protocol ratification procedure in the USA has been completed. This followed the Senate’s March 28 overwhelming and bipartisan vote of advice and consent in support of ratification.

As stated, president Trump congratulates the Montenegrin people for their resilience and their demonstrated commitment to NATO’s democratic values.

The White House’s statement also says that Trump looks forward to the May 25 NATO Leaders Meeting in Brussels and that Montenegro will be there, signalling to other NATO aspirants that the door to membership in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations remains open and that countries in the Western Balkans are free to choose their own future and select their own partners without outside interference or intimidation.

The United States will work to further strengthen our already strong relationship with Montenegro and looks forward to formally welcoming the country as the twenty-ninth member of the NATO alliance, the statement says.

In a letter to the Senate, Trump certified that the inclusion of Montenegro in NATO “will not have the effect of increasing the overall percentage share of the United States in the common budgets of NATO,” and that it will not keep the U.S. from meeting its other military funding requirements.

The US Senate previously backed the resolution on the membership of Montenegro overwhelmingly – 97 to 2 in favour of Montenegro’s accession. Only two “no” votes came from senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee

After giving the green light to Montenegro’s membership in NATO, senators assessed that it would strengthen the alliance and democracy and the independence of Montenegro.

They also said that Montenegro’s membership will send a strong message of resolve to Russia “as it invades its neighbours and the international order”.

After the president signed the protocol on NATO expansion, only the Netherlands and Spain remain to complete the procedure of verification.

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