MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. The start the process of Montenegro’s accession to NATO is regrettable, chairman of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council upper house of Russia’s parliament Konstantin Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
"The story is, of course, regrettable," the senator said, commenting on the official invitation of the NATO Foreign Ministers to Montenegro to begin accession negotiations with the Alliance.
Kosachev said that NATO’s first Secretary General Lord Ismay once stated that the organisation’s goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". "This goal is met without fail even after the end of the ‘cold war’ and overcoming the split of Europe," the Federation Council member said. He expressed regret that "Montenegro has now been included in this mechanism of permanent reproduction of the ‘cold war.’"
According to Kosachev, Russia has "had all the historical, ethnic, religious and cultural grounds" to regard Montenegro as a close state and people. "It’s their own choice, but we have every right to consider it wrong and not non-alternative," he said.
According to Kosachev, "the idea that there is no alternative to NATO in the sphere of security has for many years been consciously instilled into the small states of Europe."
The expansion of the Euro-Atlantic structures to the East "brings down the existing system of European security", which was based on the key principle of "indivisibility of security, impossibility of security of one states at the expense of others," and "automatically puts in jeopardy all non-NATO members," said Kosachev.
NATO officially invited Montenegro to join the US-led military alliance earlier on Wednesday during a NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are considered as countries aspiring to join the alliance. Montenegro’s accession negotiations with the Alliance are expected to last for a year or two.
In late November, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament, said that the majority of Montenegrins were against their country’s membership in NATO. "Any public opinion survey would show that Montenegro does not have a majority, which supports the country’s entrance into NATO," Pushkov said in his address to the Duma.
He submitted a draft resolution "On Duma’s Address" to the parliament of Montenegro and parliamentarians of NATO member states and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). According to Pushkov, Western countries and the United States are ready to turn a blind eye on any violations, including the population’s will, for the sake of dragging that state (Montenegro) into NATO.
The same was true of Slovakia in 1997 where just 10% of the country’s population took part in a referendum on NATO membership. "But even out of those 10%, 54% voted against joining NATO. Finally, the idea of a referendum was given up and a policy of dragging Slovakia into NATO was launched," Pushkov noted.
He said that NATO was fulfilling none of its intended purposes: it does not guarantee the security of its member states; it does not respond to attacks on its member states and does not create conditions for people to make their democratic choice. "We see how Montenegro is being artificially dragged into NATO. It is direct violation of the people’s right to decide its future," the lawmaker said.