REUTERS

The decision is “a clear sign that NATO’s door remains open for partners that share and promote our values,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaking at a joint press conference with Montenegro Prime Minister Djukanovic.

Stoltenberg noted that, as of today, Montenegro will participate in all NATO meetings as an observer. Once all Allies have ratified the Protocol, Montenegro will be invited to accede to the Washington Treaty and become the 29th member of the Alliance, according to NATO website.

Read alsoMontenegro on its way to NATO despite Russia's discontentThe secretary general highlighted that Montenegro already contributes to NATO operations, promoting regional cooperation in the Balkans and implementing major reforms. “Membership will give Montenegro the ability to help shape NATO policy. It will bring more stability and security to the region, and therefore promoting prosperity,” said Stoltenberg.

The NATO chief added that the road to NATO membership is not easy, but Montenegro is showing that it is possible. “I expect we will soon see twenty-nine Allied flags flying outside of NATO headquarters. NATO membership will bring Montenegro into our unique family of nations - the most successful alliance in history,” said the secretary general.