GROZNY, May 23. /TASS/. Montenegro itself does not represent a military threat to Russia but its accession to NATO will boost the military-political potential of the North Atlantic Alliance, Deputy Secretary of Russian Security Council Yevgeny Lukyanov told reporters on Monday.
"I never knew that Montenegro presented a threat to Russia. However, its accession to NATO will probably boost the military-political potential of this organization," Lukyanov said.
"This (accession to NATO) is (Montenegro’s) personal matter, it’s their personal choice. It’s up to them to decide on this. If they think that this will benefit their national security, then this is so," he added.
Answering a question on Russia’s reaction to deployment of US missile defense system in Romania, Lukyanov noted: "There will be a response to every threat."
Last week Russia’s Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic alliance Alexander Grushko said Montenegro’s accession to NATO will deepen even more the dividing lines in Europe. "It’s not the first expansion of the Alliance, and, of course, not a single round of expansion has improved our relations with countries that decided to join NATO," Grushko told Russian journalists on Friday evening after a two-day meeting of NATO’s Foreign Ministers.
"I would like to note that in the case with Montenegro, as never, the geopolitical background is seen, the desire to show the world that the policy of open doors in alive," he said. The diplomat noted that "it is evident that this is a regular step that weakens regional security and stability and deepens dividing lines, including in the Balkans."
NATO’s foreign ministers on Thursday signed in Brussels the Accession Protocol for Montenegro. From that moment on, Montenegro received the functions of an observer in the North Atlantic Council, and after the ratification, which, according to assessments by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, may take about a year, the country will become a full-fledged 29th member of the alliance.