Montenegro now a Nato member

Nato has a new member: Montenegro. The country's accession has drawn harsh criticism from Russia and is also a bone of contention in the country itself, which is home to many pro-Russian Serbs. For some commentators the decision reflects an outdated bloc mentality. For others, Montenegro was the natural choice for enlarging the Alliance.

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Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Cold War logic

Montenegro's accession to Nato only underlines the alliance's outdated strategy, the Frankfurter Rundschau comments:

“Montenegro's accession and Macedonia's likely joining don't fulfil any military purpose but only the political goal of further enclosing Russia. Instead of pursuing the plan of gathering some of the former Yugoslavian republics into a militarily neutral space and jointly guaranteeing their security - a strategy well worth considering as a détente policy - Nato is pulling one country after another into its zone of dominance. This is the bloc mentality of the Cold War which no longer meets the requirements of a modern security policy.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

A key step for the alliance

Hospodářské noviny by contrast believes the decision to let Montenegro join was right and important:

“This week the little Balkan country has become the 29th Nato member. Montenegro's President Vujanović rightly described this as a historic event. Particularly since Russia has been trying for years to form a belt of neutral states in the Balkans and dissuade the politicians there from entering an alliance with the West. At a time when the West is not so sure of itself Montenegro's membership is very good news.”

Delo (SI) /

Nato filling the gaps

Delo explains why Montenegro is important for Nato:

“With this step the Nato generals, who are strategically placing their pin flags on the world map, have surrounded the last unknown quantities in the Balkans (Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia). … At the same time they have filled a far more important gap for Nato, namely the last in the long Nato front line that has been moved eastwards and now stretches all the way from the Baltic to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Anyone who doesn't believe this should look at the map. Between Estonia and Syria there are now only two gaps in the alliance's maritime border: the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and the Bosnian-Herzogovinian coastline near Neum.”