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.