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Russian senator says Montenegro to get choke collar, no umbrella from NATO

April 29, 2:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"The Montenegrins looked for an umbrella at the (UN) Security Council with NATO’s assistance but it looks like they received a choke collar for their economy," Viktor Ozerov said

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MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. After getting NATO membership, Montenegro will get a choke collar on its neck instead of an umbrella over its head, Viktor Ozerov, the chairman of the committee for defense and security in the upper house of Russian parliament said on Friday as he commented on the Montenegrin parliament’s approval of a decision to join NATO.

"The Balkans has always been a powder keg in terms of international security and that’s why the emergence of one more state compelled to spend 2% of its GDP for defense won’t be helpful for security either in the Balkans or in Europe in general," Ozerov said.

"The Montenegrins looked for an umbrella at the (UN) Security Council with NATO’s assistance but it looks like they received a choke collar for their economy," he said.

Experience of other East-European nations proves that all the economically lucrative spaces are already occupied and the market is overfilled and that is why the future has "complications in economic relationships and a loss of the market" in store for Montenegro," Ozerov said.

"On our part, we’ll be effectuating countersanctions against Montenegro, too, and this will affect the economy of the latter," he said.

Ozerov noted along with it the incontestable right of every nation to join some or other associations, organizations or blocs.

"Unlike the UN Security Council, Russia doesn’t have the power of veto and in the case of Montenegro we can only regret that its Skupshtina (parliament) passed the decision (on NATO membership)," he said.

Ozerov recalled that Montenegro and Russia had century-old historical, cultural, and economics ties, "the friendly and mutual beneficial relations." "Still the decision has been taken and the whole nation, including its parliament should realize now they’ve joined a bloc, the expansion of which poses a danger to Russia’s national security."

"Proceeding from this, they will certainly have to go hand-in-hand with other states, including in the sphere of foreign policy and economic sanctions against Russia," he said.

On the other hand, Ozerov indicated that the decision on joining NATO had been passed by a thin enough margin of votes, as only forty-six deputies of the total eighty-one deputies voted in favor of it.

"This only proves that the attitudes to the issue differ even among the deputies," he said. "This won’t bring any internal stability to Montenegro. Had they held a referendum, I know for sure what the outcome would have been."

Montenegro will gain nothing from getting NATO membership, as it will be enmeshed in global confrontation, and this is something the peace-loving Montenegrins do not need at all, Frantz Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee in the upper house of Russian parliament told TASS.

"Our unenthusiastic stance on this decision is an open secret," he said. "Not only does it affect Russia’s interests. NATO membership is unneeded for Montenegro itself - a peaceful, amicable, and totally unwarlike country."

"The Montenegrin people will be drawn into a global confrontation and it won’t gain anything from it," Klintsevich said. "I’m afraid this (NATO membership) may change our relations with Montenegro for the worse, but this wasn’t our choice.".

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